During the election season, our food-obsessed features intern, Kaitlyn Goalen, became a hard-core political-news junkie; now, in its wake, she has been getting her fix by following the Obama transition. Here, she shares why the rest of the food world should also be watching:

Inauguration day is drawing near (41 days to go!), and as a foodie, I’m anxious about the Secretary of Agriculture pick. Apparently, I’m not the only one. Michael Pollan, Rick Bayless, Dan Barber and 80 other food activists signed a letter to the new President offering up nominations for the position. Alice Waters, who also signed the letter, has gone so far as to offer her personal services in the creation of a White House organic garden.

The timing is particularly crucial: As the economy continues to stumble, the challenge for small, local and sustainable producers to survive is bigger than ever. The demand for organic food has slowed considerably in the last two months due to its traditionally higher prices than conventionally grown food. If change is really the backbone of Obama's presidency, then it’s time we see a farmer, a chef or a true food activist in office.