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Today, former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack was nominated for Secretary of Agriculture. President-Elect Obama made the announcement this morning at a news conference.

“On behalf of NCGA and its members, I would like to extend our congratulations to Tom Vilsack,” Ron Litterer, NCGA Chairman from Greene, IA said. “As a former two-term Governor from a state where corn plays such an important role, Vilsack has demonstrated a commitment and deep knowledge of issues ranging from ethanol to conservation.”

During his eight years as Governor of Iowa, Vilsack was active on a number of issues affecting corn growers. He chaired the Governors Ethanol Coalition, Governors Biotechnology Partnership, and the National Governors Association’s Natural Resources Committee, which handles agriculture and energy policies. He also chaired the Democratic Governors Association in 2004. Tom Vilsack served as Governor of Iowa from 1999-2007.

Throughout the past several months, NCGA has worked closely with the Obama transition team on issues important to growers. NCGA will continue to build on those relationships with Tom Vilsack and his staff.

“Governor Vilsack understands the opportunities and challenges facing the corn industry today,” NCGA President Bob Dickey said. “We feel he is a wise choice to lead the United States Department of Agriculture and look forward to working with him.”

Founded in 1957, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) represents more than 35,000 dues-paying corn growers and the interests of more than 300,000 farmers who contribute through corn checkoff programs in their states. NCGA and its 48 affiliated state associations and checkoff organizations work together to help protect and advance corn growers’ interests.