U.S. Ag Sec. Vilsack to address University of Minnesota- Crookston commencement

Vilsack was confirmed as the 32nd United States Secretary of Agriculture on Feb. 23, 2021 by the U.S. Senate.

Official portrait of Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack. Secretary Vilsack was confirmed as the 32nd United States Secretary of Agriculture on Feb. 23, 2021 by the U.S. Senate. He will address the graduating class of the University of Minnesota- Crookston, on Saturday, May 7.
Contributed / USDA photo by Tom Witham
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CROOKSTON, Minn. — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will address the University of Minnesota- Crookston’s graduating class of 2022, at the university’s commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 7, at 10 a.m.

News of Vilsack’s participation in UMC’s commencement was announced by the university on Tuesday, April 26, in a news release. Vilsack was confirmed as the 32nd United States Secretary of Agriculture on Feb. 23, 2021 by the U.S. Senate. He was nominated by President Joe Biden to return to a role where he served for eight years under former President Barack Obama. He was previously the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture 2009 to 2017, and governor of Iowa from 1999 to 2007.

“It is indeed an honor that the United States Secretary of Agriculture will be addressing the University of Minnesota- Crookston’s 2022 graduating class,” said Mary Holz-Clause, chancellor of UMC. “The Red River Valley has a long and proud history of feeding the world. Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack has been a strong proponent of supporting rural economic development through investments in agricultural businesses and communities, growing local food infrastructure. Vilsak was governor of Iowa while I lived there, among his signature accomplishments was the development of the Grow Iowa Values Fund, which stimulated economic development for the state.”

John Hoffman, vice chancellor for academic and student affairs, said Vilsack’s upcoming attendance at the commencement ceremony underscores the growing profile of UMC.

“Mr. Vilsack is known for building bipartisan coalitions to address critical issues including food insecurity, conservation and sustainability, and civil rights in the United States Department of Agriculture,” Hoffman said. “As our graduates begin their careers of influence at work and in their communities, I have no doubt they will find strength and inspiration from Mr. Vilsack.”


Let's not forget who it was that thought it a good idea for the school board to open this front in the culture war. Serving on a school board is not a license to indulge in personal political vendettas.

UMC’s academic degrees are rooted in agriculture. The campus continues to partner with the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, the Northwest Research & Outreach Center and the University of Minnesota Extension. Bergland Laboratory, which is located on the university’s campus and is involved with ecological and evolutionary genetics, is the result of a collaborative effort among UMN Crookston, AURI and the NWROC.

The laboratory building serves as a center for teaching, for applied student lab experiences and for research in the agronomic, botanical, and horticultural sciences. The facility was officially dedicated as the Bergland Laboratory in 2003, and is named after Bob Bergland, a lifelong resident of Roseau, Minnesota, who served as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture during the Carter Administration, from 1976-1980.

Adam Kurtz is the community editor for the Grand Forks Herald. He covers higher education and other topics in Grand Forks County and the city.

Kurtz joined the Herald in July 2019. He covered business and county government topics before covering higher education and some military topics.

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