This is a December 18 post from Gene Bauer's blog pointing out some concerns about Vilsack. Bauer is the president and co-founder of the Farm Sanctuary.
Barack Obama has picked Tom Vilsack, former Governor of Iowa, to be the next Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). He’s certainly not the best choice; however, I think Vilsack may be a choice holding forth a reasonable hope of significant change. I’m glad that Obama didn’t select Charles Stenholm, a former Texas congressman with a long history of defending animal abuse, who had sought the position with support from the factory farming industry.
As Iowa’s Governor, Tom Vilsack took steps to protect animals, including vetoing a bill that allowed dove hunting. He has a mixed record on policies affecting industrialized agriculture. He vetoed a bill, which would have prevented Iowa from establishing stronger environmental standards for factory farms than the federal government, but he has also compromised with big agriculture, supporting weak environmental protections and genetically modified foods.