Tom Vilsack will speak on ag and climate change Nov. 16 at ISU

AMES, Iowa — Former Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will discuss how a changing climate threatens the agriculture industry in a talk at Iowa State University.

“Agriculture and Climate Change” will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. His talk is part of Iowa State's National Affairs series: "When American Values Are in Conflict." It is free and open to the public.

Vilsack is president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council. He served as agriculture secretary for eight years in the Obama administration, and was Iowa's governor from 1999 to 2007. While leading the Department of Agriculture, Vilsack acknowledged ag's responsibility in contributing to greenhouse gases and global warming. He spearheaded initiatives that committed USDA to develop the next generation of climate solutions for ag leaders. Under Vilsack, USDA created regional hubs for risk adaptation and mitigation to climate change that provided farmers with data-driven recommendations and assistance so they could develop informed, science-based strategies to benefit them and the environment.

In 2014, Vilsack said, "For generations, America's farmers, ranchers and forest landowners have innovated and adapted to challenges. Today, they face a new and more complex threat in the form of a changing and shifting climate, which impacts both our nation's forests and our farmers' bottom lines."

He has been honored for his public service and work to advance American agriculture by the Congressional Hunger Center, National Corn Growers Association, American Farm Bureau and National Farmers Union.

Vilsack's talk is co-sponsored by the Citizens Climate Lobby, Des Moines Interfaith Green Coalition, Environmental Law and Policy Center, Iowa Environmental Council, Iowa Interfaith Power and Light, National Affairs committee and the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by Student Government.

More information on ISU lectures is available online, or by calling 515-294-9935.