Former Secretaries | USDA
USDA In Facebook USDA In Twitter Google+ USDA Blog USDA In Youtube USDA govdelivery USDA In Flickr USDA RSS
Stay Connected
Former Secretaries
John Albert Knebel
 Knebel, John Albert.

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on October 4, 1936. A West Point graduate, he received his Master's at Creighton University, and his LLB at American University (1965). In 1969, he became the Assistant Counsel for the Committee on Agriculture in the House of Representatives. From 1973 to 1975, Knebel was the General Counsel for USDA, after which he briefly returned to his law practice. On December 19, 1975, he was chosen as Under Secretary; the following year (November 4, 1976), he became the Secretary of Agriculture and served until January 20, 1977. Then, he again returned to practicing law, with Brownstein, Zesdman, Shomev, and Chase. He is the president of the American Mining Congress.

Earl Butz
 Butz, Earl Lauer.

Born in Albion, Indiana, on July 3, 1909. He earned his bachelor's (1932) and doctorate (1937) degrees at Purdue University. He taught there for several years and was head of the Agricultural Economics Department. In 1943 he was a research economist for the Brookings Institute. From 1954 to 1957, he was Assistant Secretary for Marketing and Foreign Agriculture in USDA. He returned to Purdue to become Dean of Continuing Education and Vice President of Purdue's Research Foundation. On December 2, 1971 he was appointed Secretary of Agriculture and served until October 4, 1976, then returned to Purdue.

Clifford Hardin
 Hardin, Clifford Morris.

Born on October 9, 1915, near Kingstown, Indiana. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1937, his masters in Agricultural Economics (1937), and his Ph.D. (1941) - all from Purdue. He later taught agricultural economics at the University of Wisconsin, and in 1944 he moved to Michigan State. In 1947 Hardin began to work with a number of overseas projects, including postwar food in Colombia and Japan. In 1954, Hardin became the Chancellor of the University of Nebraska. On January 21, 1969, Hardin left the post at Nebraska to become the Secretary of Agriculture and served until November 17, 1971. In 1971 he joined the Purina Corporation.

Orville Lothrop Freeman
 Freeman, Orville Lothrop.

Born on May 9, 1918, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1940, then received his law degree there in 1946 after serving as a Marine officer in World War II. Freeman practiced law in Minneapolis and participated in Minneapolis municipal affairs. He was elected Governor of Minnesota in 1954 and served three terms. In 1961, he was chosen by President Kennedy as Secretary of Agriculture. He served as Secretary from January 21, 1961, until January 20, 1969, at which time he joined EDP Technology International, Inc., as president. In 1981, he became chairman of the board of the Business International Corporation. Today, Freeman is a law partner in the firm of Popham, Schnobrich, Kaufman and Dotz.

Ezra Taft Benson
 Benson, Ezra Taft.

Born August 4, 1899, at Whitney, Franklin County, Idaho. He attended Utah State Agricultural College and graduated from Brigham Young University. He received a Master of Science in agricultural economics from Iowa State College, then took additional graduate work at the University of California. He was a farmer, teacher, missionary, agricultural extension worker in Idaho, and served as director of the Farm Foundation. He was active in cooperative organizations, and served as executive secretary of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. He was a member of the Council of Twelve, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at the time he was appointed Secretary of Agriculture. He was Secretary from January 21, 1953, to January 20, 1961. Benson died on May 30, 1994, after serving as leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Charles Franklin Brannan
 Brannan, Charles Franklin.

Born in Denver, Colorado, on August 23, 1903. He attended Regis College and graduated from the University of Denver Law School. He was part-owner of a ranch in Colorado. In 1935, Brannan joined the Resettlement Administration as an attorney and later served in the Farm Security Administration. On June 21, 1944, he became Assistant Secretary of Agriculture, then Secretary of Agriculture on June 2, 1948. He remained in office until January 20, 1953. After 1953, he was engaged in private law practice and served as general counsel for the National Farmers Union. Brannan died on July 2, 1992 from a heart ailment.

Clinton Anderson
 Anderson, Clinton Presba.

Born on October 23, 1895, in Centerville, Turner County, South Dakota. He received his education at Dakota Wesleyan University and the University of Michigan, and later moved to New Mexico. He was an insurance executive, newspaperman and editor, and operated two farms. He was a president of Rotary International. He served as a member of the House of Representatives from January 3, 1941, to June 30, 1945. Anderson was Secretary of Agriculture from June 30, 1945, to May 10, 1948. On January 3, 1949, he was sworn in as a U.S. Senator from New Mexico.

Claude Raymond Wickard
 Wickard, Claude Raymond.

Born in Carroll County, Indiana, on February 28, 1893. He graduated from Purdue University, specializing in animal husbandry, and returned to farming. He was selected as a Master Farmer in 1927. He was a member of the Indiana State Senate. During the 1930's he worked in the Agricultural Adjustment Administration. On March 1, 1940, he became Under Secretary, and on September 5, of the same year, was appointed Secretary of Agriculture. On June 29, 1945, he was appointed Administrator of the Rural Electrification Administration, holding the position until 1953. Then, he returned to farming until his death.

Henry Wallace
 Wallace, Henry Agard.

Born near Orient, Iowa, on October 7, 1888. He graduated from Iowa State College. He then went to work on the family paper, Wallace's Farmer, and on developing hybrid corn. When his father became Secretary of Agriculture, he inherited the editing of the paper. He was Secretary of the Agriculture from March 4, 1933, until September 4, 1940. After serving as Vice President of the United States, he became Secretary of Commerce. Wallace was a candidate for the Presidency in 1948 on the Progressive ticket. After an unsuccessful bid for the White House, he retired to his farm in New York. There, he conducted genetics research. Wallace died on November 18, 1965.

Arthur Hyde
 Hyde, Arthur Mastick.

Born in Princeton, Missouri, on July 12, 1877. He graduated from the University of Michigan and the law school of the State University of Iowa. He was a lawyer, businessman, and insurance executive He was elected Governor of Missouri in 1920. Hyde served as Secretary of Agriculture from March 6, 1929, to March 4, 1933. He returned to private law practice in Trenton, Missouri, and died October 17, 1947.

< Previous Page  Page 1  2  Page 3  Next Page >