U.S. Secretary of Agriculture talks DEI and USDA’s response amid the pandemic

thomas vilsack
This March 14, 2014 file photo shows Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas  Vilsack says a lot is going on at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the agency is continuing its efforts to drive diversity, equity and inclusion.

In a recent conversation with “Closer Look” program host Rose Scott, Vilsack said the agency recently established an equity commission to identify barriers to access to USDA programs and services, make recommendations and ensure that that agency is accessible to all.

“My hope and belief is that they will give us some serious recommendations here in the year of 2022 and we’ll begin implementation of those as quickly as possible,“ said Vilsack.

During the conversation, Vilsack talked about several topics, including pandemic assistance to help farmers, livestock workers, creating a resilient food system, expanding climate-smart agriculture and foresty.