Citing an increase in large hog farms during his tenure as governor of Iowa, Farm Sanctuary has questioned the appointment of former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack as USDA Secretary. The comments were made in a statement by Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, a self-described farm animal protection organization.

"Vilsack has an uneven track record when it comes to farm animals and fighting factory farming," said Baur. "He has supported some animal protection measures and has at times stood up to Big Ag, yet he has also taken actions that are not in the best interest of farm animals and rural communities.”

"This is not a time for us to be complacent, but a time to remind Vilsack that USDA was founded as the people's department, not the factory farmers' department," he added.