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Delaware Valley University to Honor Former USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack

Courtesy: Tom Vilsack. Former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Sep 28, 2017

In advance of receiving Delaware Valley University’s Krauskopf Medal, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who now is the president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, will meet with DelVal’s students on campus on Thursday, Oct. 5. Vilsack will participate in a meet and greet from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Shapiro Wing of the University’s library before the award presentation that evening. At the meet and greet, he will give a brief overview of his career and life, which will be followed by a Q&A session. 
  
“We are pleased to give students the opportunity to interact with a leader in agriculture and policy,” said DelVal President Dr. Maria Gallo. “This is an opportunity that will help inspire and prepare students to pursue their dreams.”

Vilsack will accept the Krauskopf Medal at the University’s 1896 Society Dinner, a private event that will be held off campus. Chip Krauskopf, a DelVal trustee and descendent of the University’s founder, will attend the award presentation. The Krauskopf Medal, named in honor of DelVal’s founder, Dr. Joseph Krauskopf, was created to celebrate those who make positive change. Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding nominated Vilsack for the award. 

“In many ways, Secretary Vilsack embodies the spirit and ideals of Rabbi Krauskopf–as a visionary and as a true believer in community engagement, environmental conservation, and the critical role agriculture plays in our lives,” said Redding in nominating Vilsack.

Vilsack served as the 30th Secretary of Agriculture and was a trusted advisor to former President Barack Obama. He chaired the first-ever White House Rural Council, helping to strengthen services for rural business and entrepreneurs by connecting the rural community with investors. Under his leadership, the USDA partnered with former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign to improve the health of American children. He also helped to pass and implement the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which enabled the USDA to help combat child hunger and obesity. Vilsack led a comprehensive effort to improve the safety of the U.S. food supply. He made civil rights a priority, reaching historic resolutions to cases of discrimination brought against the USDA. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Vilsack was born in an orphanage and adopted in 1951. He is a graduate of Hamilton College and Albany Law School.

DelVal’s founder, Dr. Krauskopf, lived from 1858 to 1923. He addressed issues decades before many of his contemporaries, speaking publicly on issues such as civil rights, poor living conditions, poverty, child labor, environmental conservation, housing and equal employment. To be chosen for the Krauskopf Medal, individuals or organizations must make outstanding contributions in at least one of the following areas: agriculture and food systems, human and civil rights, social justice, child labor, conservation and sustainability, poverty, educational and employment equity, and quality of life issues. 

Learn more: Please visit delval.edu/award to learn more about the Krauskopf Medal.