With the unfinished business of a new farm bill remaining, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will continue to serve in the second term of the Obama administration.

Vilsack stays Agriculture Secretary in Obama’s second term“President Obama and I share a deep appreciation for rural America and its unlimited potential in the years ahead to feed a growing world population, revolutionize America’s energy, further protect our natural resources and create more jobs here at home,” Vilsack said in a Jan. 14 statement. “We will continue to urge Congress to pass a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill that will help us continue USDA’s wide range of efforts to support this work.”

Ken Barbic, senior director for federal government affairs for the Washington, D.C., office of Irvine, Calif.-based Western Growers, said Vilsack has a good understanding of the issues and concerns of the specialty crop industry.

In addition, Vilsack has been a good voice for agriculture in regard to the immigration issue, which is an important issue for 2013.

“Within the administration, we’re happy that he is going to hopefully speak for agriculture,” he said.

Immigration reform legislation may be considered this spring, Barbic said.