Ag News: Vilsack’s Running Start
**President Biden’s nominee for Ag Secretary, Tom Vilsack, says he’d arrive at the USDA with a “serious focus on getting stuff done quickly,” considering the many challenges facing the department, from the pandemic to racial equity and rural development.
Vilsack tells www.agriculture.com, there’s “a lot to keep anyone up at night.”
Vilsack was Ag Secretary throughout the Obama years, and Biden recruited him to serve again.
**The California Walnut Board is launching its fourth consecutive American Heart Month campaign in February, expanding its popular retail marketing program in an effort to bring more attention to Heart Month and encourage consumers to make healthier food choices.
The 2021 campaign includes walnut displays and promotions in more than 10,000 stores across the U.S., more than a 40% increase over last year, with incremental sales expected to climb as well.
The past year has seen an increase in walnut sales in the retail segment with consumers both cooking and baking more often.
**Tomato processors will likely ask farmers to plant more tomatoes this year.
A new government estimate indicates processors intend to contract for about 6% more tomatoes than they did in 2020.
The projected contracts could lead to planting of 240,000 acres of processing tomatoes in the state.
California dominates domestic production of processing tomatoes, used for tomato sauce, ketchup and other products.