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  • Tom Vilsack Receives GENYOUth's Vanguard Award

    By Mark O'Keefe December 9, 2017

    Bill Clinton, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and others praise the former U.S. Agriculture Secretary for improving children’s health, wellness and nutrition.

    Former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is the winner of GENYOUth's 2017 Vanguard Award, presented to an individual who best exemplifies courage, compassion and leadership in the service of youth. 

    The award was given Wednesday at the annual GENYOUth Gala, held at New York's Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

    The crowd included educators, medical professionals, dairy leaders, students and the commissioner of the National Football League, Roger Goodell.  It was former President Bill Clinton who set a highly personal tone honoring Vilsack, now the U.S. Dairy Export Council’s President and CEO.

    “He deserves this award and so much more,” said Clinton. “I admit it. I love the guy. I plead guilty. But everything I have said to you tonight is the God’s honest truth and the only thing I have done is to underestimate the depth of his commitment and the scope of his achievement.”
    Former President Bill Clinton pays tribute to Tom Vilsack and his career commitment to improving the health and nutrition of children.

    As Secretary of Agriculture for two terms under President Barack Obama, Vilsack's commitment to child nutrition took many forms, from passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, to the USDA's partnership with First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" initiative, to expanding both school breakfast and summer-feeding programs in underserved communities.

    In accepting the award, Vilsack offered an encouraging note about America's youth and the future of this country.

    "This is an incredible country and it has an incredible future," he said. "All of the problems the country faces today basically melt away when you spend time with America's youth. They are hopeful, they are inspiring, they are motivated and they are absolutely deserving of everything we can do to make sure that their future is as great as it can be."USDEC President and CEO Tom Vilsack accepts GENYOUth's Vanguard Award recognizing courage, compassion and leadership in the service of youth. 

    In a statement, GENYOUth CEO Alexis Glick explained why Vilsack is the recipient of this year's Vanguard Award.

    "Our Board of Directors unanimously agreed that Secretary Vilsack's impact on child health and wellness has had an unprecedented influence on our nation's youth giving them access to the nutrition resources they need to thrive and learn and will no doubt lead to many more critical public private partnerships in support of healthy, high-achieving youth."

    Mark O'Keefe is vice president of editorial services at the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

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    The U.S. Dairy Export Council fosters collaborative industry partnerships with processors, trading companies and others to enhance global demand for U.S. dairy products and ingredients. USDEC is primarily supported by Dairy Management Inc. through the dairy farmer checkoff. How to republish this post.  

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