AP - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has found more room in his budget for pork -- the four-legged kind.
Vilsack said Thursday his department would spend $30 million to buy more pork this year for federal food and nutrition programs. The announcement came after he got a letter from the governors of nine pork-producing states: Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.
The governors wrote President Barack Obama last month urging the government to buy more pork, saying unwarranted fears about swine flu have hurt the industry. They said the industry provides 550,000 jobs and contributes $34 billion to the economy.
Vilsack said the government already spends $151 million a year on pork.