Politico yesterday reported that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is upset. According to him, the USDA just don’t get no respect:
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack wants to spread the message to anyone who’ll listen: The U.S. Department of Agriculture isn’t just about farming anymore.
“This department is not appreciated,” the former Iowa governor told POLITICO in a recent interview. “We are engaged in virtually every issue and always can provide some support and some meaningful solution to a problem that is vexing folks.”
To prove the point, he challenges anyone to name an issue that doesn’t touch the department’s portfolio, from bolstering national security by helping wean Afghan farmers from growing opium — a cash crop that funds Islamic insurgents fighting U.S. troops — to providing USDA-backed home loans as a way to repopulate the sparse countryside. [emphasis added, with disgust]
Not bad for an agency that shouldn’t even exist.