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Rounds Discusses MCOOL and Ethanol with Ag Secretary Nominee

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) issued the following statement today following a discussion with Tom Vilsack, who President Biden recently nominated to be Secretary of Agriculture. Vilsack previously served as Governor of Iowa and Secretary of Agriculture under President Barack Obama.

“South Dakota’s farm and ranch families are among the best producers in the world,” said Rounds. “They are great stewards of the land and need to be recognized for their efforts in feeding a growing population.

“Today, I had a productive conversation with Governor Vilsack. I expressed to him the need to re-engage in trade discussions so we can bring back Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (MCOOL) and other issues related to beef markets. For example, we must close a current loophole so that only beef born, raised and slaughtered in the United States should receive the “Product of the U.S.A.” label. He agreed with me that consumers have the right to know where their meat comes from.

“Additionally, we discussed the importance of ethanol, creating new markets for state-inspected meat processing facilities and the need to reform the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service.

“I thank Governor Vilsack for taking the time to meet with me today and I look forward to working with him to address these issues critical to South Dakota should he be confirmed.”

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