Add Western Growers to the list of farm groups cheering the Feb. 23 confirmation of Tom Vilsack to return as U.S. agriculture secretary.
Dave Puglia, the organization's president and chief executive officer, said he hopes that Vilsack will work to secure economic prosperity for ag-related industries.
“Our work with him during his previous service as secretary yielded positive policy actions for the fresh produce industry," Puglia said in a statement. "Looking ahead, we must band together to address short term, pandemic-related needs such as funding for worker safety costs, as well as larger and longer term threats to the viability of farming in the West. Over the next four years, we know Secretary Vilsack will work with us as he has in the past to ensure economic prosperity for America's family farmers.”
Founded in 1926, Western Growers represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona, California, Colorado and New Mexico. Its members and their workers provide over half the nation's fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, including nearly half of America's fresh organic produce, according to the group's website. Some members also farm throughout the U.S. and in other countries.
Puglia joins other farm group leaders in praising the Senate's confirmation of Vilsack, including representatives from the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, the National Association of State Agricultural Departments and United Fresh.