The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

Dairy Management Inc. CEO Tom Gallagher praised President-elect Biden’s decision to nominate Tom Vilsack of the U.S. Dairy Export Council to head the U.S. Agriculture Department.

“I applaud the decision to select a true leader in American food and agriculture,” said Gallagher, who hired Vilsack to lead USDEC in 2017 on behalf of America’s 34,000-plus dairy farmers. “Over the years, Tom Vilsack has proven his passion for agriculture, whether as the mayor of a small town, the governor of Iowa or as Secretary of Agriculture for two terms in the Obama Administration.

“Working closely with me in the dairy industry, I have seen Secretary Vilsack’s leadership and vision to not only strengthen the U.S. agricultural economy but to provide safe and nutritious food for people around the world.”

Larry Hancock, a Texas dairy farmer who serves as USDEC’s chair, echoed Gallagher’s comments.

“Secretary Vilsack has provided the vision and creativity to lead our industry to 14 consecutive months of year-over-year exports gains,” said Hancock on Friday. “Overcoming the challenges of COVID-19, we are on track for a record year, bringing more jobs to the U.S. economy and new hope to U.S. dairy farmers.”

Gallagher said Vilsack will continue to serve fully in his role as president and CEO of USDEC until he is confirmed as the Secretary of Agriculture for the new administration. Once confirmed, Krysta Harden, USDEC’s chief operating officer, will become president of USDEC, said Gallagher.

“We are extremely fortunate,” said Gallagher, “to have Secretary Vilsack’s dedication and commitment to dairy farmers over the past four years and to have someone with Krysta’s background and experience in agriculture and with USDEC ready to step into a new role.”