WASHINGTON — President-elect Obama reached into the heart of the nation's corn-growing midsection last week in selecting Tom Vilsack, a former Democratic governor of Iowa, to be secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Although the selection was criticized by some food-industry and environmental watchdogs, retail observers told SN that they expect the 58-year-old attorney to be a positive force for supermarket operators. As head of the USDA, he will oversee a $95 billion budget that ...

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