Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says farmers don’t get enough thanks for what they do, and he believes USDA should be spearheading efforts to help the public realize the importance of agriculture.

“If you were Olympic downhill skiers you would be getting a gold medal or if you were professional athletes you would be going in the Hall of Fame,” he told the 4,200 farmers attending the Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif. “If you were CEOs, you would be getting big bonuses, but you’re not.”

Vilsack later told reporters covering the Commodity Classic that USDA plans to do more to help expand markets for farmers both here and abroad. Here’s more from the press conference (VIDEO)