Ed Schafer was sworn in as the 29th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on January 28, 2008.Secretary Schafer brings a record as an innovative two-term governor of North Dakota to USDA along with extensive private sector experience as both an entrepreneur and a business executive. Schafer served as North Dakota's governor from 1992 to 2000 and made diversifying and expanding North Dakota's economy, reducing the cost of government and advancing agriculture his top priorities in office.
Mike Johanns was sworn in as the 28th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on January 21, 2005. Secretary Johanns' strong agricultural roots stretch back to his childhood. He was born in Iowa and grew up doing chores on his family's dairy farm. As the son of a dairy farmer, he developed a deep respect for the land and the people who work it. He still describes himself as "a farmer's son with an intense passion for agriculture." That passion has been evident during Johanns' tenure as Secretary of Agriculture. Days after he took office, he began working with U.S. trading partners to reopen their markets to U.S. beef. Nearly 119 countries had closed their markets after a single finding of a BSE-infected cow in the U.S. in 2003. Within his first year, Johanns convinced nearly half that number to reopen their markets.
Veneman was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate and sworn in as the 27th U.S. Secretary of Agriculture on January 20, 2001. A lawyer and daughter of peach farmers, Veneman served as California's agriculture secretary from 1995 to 1999. From 1991 to 1993, Veneman was Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. From 1989 to 1991, Veneman served as Deputy Under Secretary of Agriculture for International Affairs and Commodity Programs. She joined the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service in 1986 and served as Associate Administrator until 1989. Veneman was actively involved in the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations, NAFTA, and the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement. Raised in Modesto, California, Veneman earned her bachelor's degree in political science from the University of California at Davis, and a master's degree in public policy from the University of California at Berkeley, and a juris doctorate degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law.
Glickman, Daniel Robert.
Glickman was sworn in as the 26th U.S. Secretary of Agriculture on March 30, 1995. Prior to his confirmation, Glickman served in the United States House of Representatives for 18 years where he represented Kansas' 4th Congressional District. Glickman brought to the Cabinet post experience as a member of the House Agriculture Committee, including six years as chairman of the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and its predecessor, the Subcommittee on Wheat, Soybeans, and Feed Grains. He contributed to the Farm Bills of 1977, 1981, 1985 and 1990. Prior to being elected to Congress in 1976, Glickman served as President of the Wichita, Kansas, School Board; was a partner in the law firm of Sargent, Klenda and Glickman; and served as a trial attorney for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Glickman received his B.A. in history from the University of Michigan and his law degree from the George Washington University. He served until January 19, 2001.
Espy, Alphonso Michael.
Born in Yazoo, Mississippi, on November 30, 1953, Espy graduated from Howard University in 1975 and received a law degree from Santa Clara Law School, California, in 1978. Then, he joined the Central Mississippi Legal Services as managing attorney. From 1980 to 1984, he served as assistant secretary for public lands in Mississippi. In 1984 and 1985, he was assistant attorney general for consumer protection in Mississippi. Espy was first elected to Congress in 1986 and served on the Agriculture and Budget Committees. Within these committees, he served on several task forces, including the Natural Resources' Community and Economic Development, the Lower Mississippi Delta Caucus, and the Select Committee on Hunger's Domestic Hunger Task Force. Espy was appointed Secretary of Agriculture on January 22, 1993, and is the first person of African American descent to hold the office. He served until December 31, 1994.
Madigan, Edward Rell.
Born in Lincoln, Illinois, on January 13, 1936, he graduated from Lincoln College in Illinois in 1956. Between 1955 to 1973, he owned and operated the Yellow Lincoln Cab Company. From 1966 to 1972, he was a member of the Illinois House of Representatives. In 1972, he was elected to the U.S. Congress where he served on the Energy and Commerce Committees. He served as the ranking Republican on the Agricultural Committee from 1983 to 1991. In 1986, Madigan was chosen as Chief Deputy Whip of the Republican Party. Madigan was appointed as the Secretary of Agriculture and assumed office on March 12, 1991. Madigan died December 7, 1994.
Yeutter, Clayton Keith.
Born in Eustis, Nebraska, December 10, 1930, he earned his B.S. in animal husbandry from the University of Nebraska in 1952, and served in the Air Force for five years. He earned his law degree in 1963, and in 1966, his Ph.D. in agricultural economics, from the University of Nebraska. Yeutter started his career in agriculture as a farmer and a cattle feeder in 1957. From 1960 to 1966 he served on the staff of the University of Nebraska. From 1966 to 1968 he was a member of the Nebraska governor's staff. In 1968 and 1970, he headed the University of Nebraska's mission to Colombia. In 1970 and 1971, he was the USDA Administrator for Consumer and Marketing Service and, on January 24, 1973, he became Assistant Secretary for Marketing and Consumer Services. On March 13, 1974 he was appointed Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Commodity Programs and remained in that position until June 19, 1975. Between 1975-1977 he served as deputy special trade representative. From 1977 to 1978 Yeutter was a senior partner in the Nebraska law firm of Nelson, Harding, Yeutter, & Leonard. In 1978 he became president of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. In July 1985 President Reagan appointed Yeutter U.S. Trade Representative. On February 16, 1989, Yeutter was sworn in as the Secretary of Agriculture, serving until March 1, 1991. Yeutter later served as Chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Lyng, Richard Edmund.
Born in San Francisco on June 29, 1918. He graduated from Notre Dame University in 1940. He was president of the Ed J. Lyng Company, a family seed and bean production and processing firm from 1949 to 1967. In 1967, he was appointed the chief deputy director of the California State Department of Agriculture. From March 3, 1969, to January 23, 1973, Lyng was the USDA Assistant Secretary for Marketing and Consumer Services. From 1973 to 1979, he served as President of the American Meat Institute. From February 5, 1981, until January 18, 1985, he served as USDA Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. In 1985 Lyng along with William Lesher formed Lyng and Lesher Inc., an agricultural consulting firm in Washington D.C. On February 22, 1986, he was appointed Secretary of Agriculture, serving until January 20, 1989.
Block, John Rusling.
Born on February 15, 1935, in Gilson, Illinois. In 1957, he graduated from West Point, and served three years in the Army. In 1960, he returned to his family farm during which it expanded from 312 to 3000 acres. In 1977, he was appointed Secretary of Agriculture for the State of Illinois. From January 23, 1981 to February 14, 1986 he served as Secretary of Agriculture. After leaving USDA, Block became the president of the National - American Wholesale Grocers' Association based in Washington D.C.
Bergland, Robert Selmer.
Bergland was born in Roseau, Minnesota, on July 22, 1938. He studied agriculture at the University of Minnesota in a two year program. Bergland owns a 600 acre farm in Minnesota. He worked in USDA for Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (1963 - 1968). In 1970, he was elected to his first of four terms in Congress as a representative from Minnesota. In Congress he served on the House Committee on Agriculture's subcommittees for Conservation and Credit, and Livestock, Grains, Dairy, and Poultry. He served as Secretary of Agriculture from January 23, 1977, to January 20, 1981.