United States Secretary of Agriculture

The United States Secretary of Agriculture is the head of the United States Department of Agriculture. The Secretary of Agriculture is former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. Perdue took office on April 25, 2017 after being confirmed by the U.S Senate 87-11. The position carries similar responsibilities to those of agriculture ministers in other governments.

The department includes several organizations. The 297,000 mi2 (770,000 km2) of national forests and grasslands are managed by the United States Forest Service.[2] The safety of food produced and sold in the United States is ensured by the United States Food Safety and Inspection Service.[3] The Food Stamp Program works with the states to provide food to low-income people.[4] Advice for farmers and gardeners is provided by the United States Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service.[5]

United States Secretary of Agriculture
Seal of the United States Department of Agriculture
Seal of the Department
Flag of the United States Secretary of Agriculture
Flag of the Secretary
Sonny Perdue headshot
Incumbent
Sonny Perdue

since April 25, 2017
United States Department of Agriculture
StyleMr. Secretary
Member ofCabinet
Reports toPresident of the United States
SeatJamie L. Whitten Building, Washington, D.C.
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Term lengthNo fixed term
Constituting instrument7 U.S.C. § 2202
FormationFebruary 15, 1889
First holderNorman Jay Coleman
SuccessionNinth[1]
DeputyDeputy Secretary of Agriculture
SalaryExecutive Schedule, level I
Websitewww.usda.gov

List of Secretaries of Agriculture

When the Department of Agriculture was established in 1862, its executive was a non-Cabinet position called the Commissioner of Agriculture. The Commissioners of Agriculture were:[6]

No. Portrait Name State of Residence Took Office Left Office President(s)
1 Isaac Newton Pennsylvania July 1, 1862 June 19, 1867 Abraham Lincoln
Andrew Johnson
2 Horace Capron Horace Capron December 4, 1867 July 31, 1871
Ulysses S. Grant
3 Frederick Watts Pennsylvania August 1, 1871 1877
4 William Gates LeDuc July 1, 1877 1881 Rutherford B. Hayes
5 George B. Loring - Brady-Handy George B. Loring Massachusetts July 1, 1881 1885 James A. Garfield
Chester A. Arthur
6 NJColman Norman Jay Coleman Missouri April 3, 1885 February 14, 1889 Grover Cleveland

The position of Secretary of Agriculture was created when the department was elevated to Cabinet status in 1889. The following is a list of Secretaries of Agriculture, since the creation of the office in 1889.[7]

Parties

  Democratic (14)   Republican (18)

No. Portrait Name State of Residence Took Office Left Office President(s)
1 NJColman Norman Jay Coleman Missouri February 15, 1889 March 6, 1889 Grover Cleveland
2 Jeremiah McLain Rusk - Brady-Handy Jeremiah McLain Rusk Wisconsin March 6, 1889 March 6, 1893 Benjamin Harrison
3 J. Sterling Morton, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing left Julius Sterling Morton Nebraska March 7, 1893 March 5, 1897 Grover Cleveland
4 James Wilson(U.S. politician)-seated James Wilson Iowa March 5, 1897 March 5, 1913 William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
5 DFHouston David F. Houston Missouri March 6, 1913 February 2, 1920
6 E.T. Meredith, ggbain.16011u Edwin T. Meredith Iowa February 2, 1920 March 4, 1921
7 Henry Cantwell Wallace Henry Cantwell Wallace Iowa March 5, 1921 October 25, 1924 Warren G. Harding
Calvin Coolidge
8 Howard Mason Gore Howard Mason Gore West Virginia November 22, 1924 March 4, 1925
9 W.M. Jardine William Marion Jardine Kansas March 5, 1925 March 4, 1929
10 Arthur M. Hyde Arthur M. Hyde Missouri March 6, 1929 March 4, 1933 Herbert Hoover
11 Henry-A.-Wallace-Townsend.jpeg Henry A. Wallace Iowa March 4, 1933 September 4, 1940 Franklin D. Roosevelt
12 CRW2 Claude R. Wickard Indiana September 5, 1940 June 29, 1945
Harry S. Truman
13 Clinton P. Anderson, 13th Secretary of Agriculture, June 1945 - May 1948. - Flickr - USDAgov Clinton Presba Anderson New Mexico June 30, 1945 May 10, 1948
14 Charles F. Brannan Charles F. Brannan Colorado June 2, 1948 January 20, 1953
15 Ezra Taft Benson - USDA portrait Ezra Taft Benson Utah January 21, 1953 January 20, 1961 Dwight D. Eisenhower
16 Orville L. Freeman, Secretary of Agriculture (1961-1969) Orville Freeman Minnesota January 21, 1961 January 20, 1969 John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
17 Clifford Morris Hardin - USDA portrait Clifford M. Hardin Nebraska January 21, 1969 November 17, 1971 Richard Nixon
18 Earl Lauer Butz - USDA portrait Earl Butz Indiana December 2, 1971 October 4, 1976
Gerald Ford
19 John Albert Knebel - USDA portrait John Albert Knebel Oklahoma November 4, 1976 January 20, 1977
20 Robert Bergland - USDA portrait Robert Bergland Minnesota January 23, 1977 January 20, 1981 Jimmy Carter
21 John Block John Rusling Block Illinois January 23, 1981 February 14, 1986 Ronald Reagan
22 Richard E. Lyng, 22nd Secretary of Agriculture, March 1986 - January 1989. - Flickr - USDAgov Richard Edmund Lyng California March 7, 1986 January 21, 1989
23 Clayton Yeutter (cropped) Clayton Keith Yeutter Nebraska February 16, 1989 March 1, 1991 George H. W. Bush
24 Edward R. Madigan (cropped) Edward Rell Madigan Illinois March 8, 1991 January 20, 1993
25 Mike Espy (cropped) Mike Espy Mississippi January 22, 1993 December 31, 1994 Bill Clinton
Richard Rominger
Acting
California December 31, 1994 March 30, 1995
26 Dan glickman Dan Glickman Kansas March 30, 1995 January 20, 2001
27 Ann Veneman (cropped) Ann Veneman California January 20, 2001 January 20, 2005 George W. Bush
28 Mike Johanns Mike Johanns Nebraska January 21, 2005 September 20, 2007
Charles F. Conner, official USDA photo portrait Charles F. Conner
Acting
Indiana September 20, 2007 January 28, 2008
29 SchaferEd-official (cropped) Ed Schafer North Dakota January 28, 2008 January 20, 2009
30 Tom Vilsack, official USDA portrait (cropped) Tom Vilsack Iowa January 20, 2009 January 13, 2017 Barack Obama
Michael T. Scuse official portrait (cropped) Michael Scuse
Acting
Delaware January 13, 2017 January 20, 2017
Michael Young 20170216-DM-RBN-7992 (32557392300) Mike Young
Acting
January 20, 2017 April 25, 2017 Donald Trump
31 Sonny Perdue headshot Sonny Perdue Georgia April 25, 2017 Incumbent

Living former Secretaries of Agriculture

Secretaries of Agriculture of the United States 20120223-OCE-RBN-1222 (6778624074)
(Back L to R) Yeutter, Glickman, Espy, and Block. (Front L to R) Johanns, Vilsack, Veneman, and Schafer.

As of April 2019, there are eight living former Secretaries of Agriculture (with all Secretaries that have served since 1993 still living), the oldest being John R. Block (served 1981–1986, born 1935). The most recent Secretary of Agriculture to die was Robert Bergland (served 1977–1981, born 1928), on December 9, 2018. The most recently serving Secretary to die was Edward Rell Madigan (1991–1993, born 1936) on December 7, 1994.

Name Term Birth date (and age)
John A. Knebel 1976–1977 October 4, 1936 (age 82)
John R. Block 1981–1986 February 15, 1935 (age 84)
Mike Espy 1993–1994 November 30, 1953 (age 65)
Dan Glickman 1995–2001 November 24, 1944 (age 74)
Ann Veneman 2001–2005 June 29, 1949 (age 69)
Mike Johanns 2005–2007 June 18, 1950 (age 68)
Ed Schafer 2008–2009 August 8, 1946 (age 72)
Tom Vilsack 2009–2017 December 13, 1950 (age 68)

Line of succession

The line of succession for the Secretary of Agriculture is as follows:[8]

  1. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture
  2. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services
  3. Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Administration
  4. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services
  5. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics
  6. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety
  7. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment
  8. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development
  9. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs
  10. General Counsel of the Department of Agriculture
  11. Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary
  12. State Executive Directors of the Farm Service Agency (in order of seniority by length of unbroken tenure) for the States of:
    1. California
    2. Iowa
    3. Kansas
  13. Regional Administrators of the Food and Nutrition Service (in order of seniority by length of unbroken tenure) for the:
    1. Mountain Plains Regional Office (Denver, Colorado)
    2. Midwest Regional Office (Chicago, Illinois)
    3. Western Regional Office (San Francisco, California)
  14. Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Agriculture
  15. Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Civil Rights
  16. Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Congressional Relations

References

  1. ^ "3 U.S. Code § 19 - Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act". LII / Legal Information Institute.
  2. ^ "USDA Forest Service - Caring for the land and serving people". Fs.fed.us. Retrieved September 24, 2005.
  3. ^ "Home". Fs.fed.us. Retrieved September 24, 2005.
  4. ^ "FNS Food Stamp Program Home Page". Fns.usda.gov. Retrieved September 24, 2005.
  5. ^ "Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES)". Csrees.usda.gov. Retrieved September 24, 2005.
  6. ^ Baker, Gladys L.; Rasmussen, Wayne D.; Wiser, Vivian; Porter, Jane M. (1963). "Century of Service: The First 100 Years of the United States Department of Agriculture". U.S. Department of Agriculture. Archived from the original on 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  7. ^ "Former Secretaries". U.S. Department of Agriculture. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  8. ^ "Amendments to Delegations of Authority, United States Department of Agriculture". Federalregister.gov. Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved October 29, 2016.

External links

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Ryan Zinke
as Secretary of the Interior
Order of Precedence of the United States
as Secretary of the Treasury
Succeeded by
Wilbur Ross
as Secretary of Commerce
U.S. presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Secretary of the Interior
Ryan Zinke
9th in line Succeeded by
Secretary of Commerce
Wilbur Ross
Arthur M. Hyde

Arthur Mastick Hyde (July 12, 1877 – October 17, 1947) was an American Republican politician, who served as the 35th Governor of Missouri from 1921 to 1925, and as the United States Secretary of Agriculture for President Herbert Hoover from 1929 to 1933.

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development

The Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development (USDA(RD)) is a high-ranking official in the United States Department of Agriculture and the principal advisor to the United States Secretary of Agriculture responsible for oversight of the department's rural development programs and policies.

Better Homes and Gardens (magazine)

Better Homes and Gardens is the fourth best selling magazine in the United States. The editor in chief is Stephen Orr. Better Homes and Gardens focuses on interests regarding homes, cooking, gardening, crafts, healthy living, decorating, and entertaining. The magazine is published 12 times per year by the Meredith Corporation. It was founded in 1922 by Edwin Meredith, who had previously been the United States Secretary of Agriculture under Woodrow Wilson. The original name was Fruit, Garden and Home from 1922 to 1924. The name was changed in 1925 to Better Homes and Gardens.

Better Homes and Gardens is one of the "Seven Sisters", a group of women's service magazines.

Biobased product

Biobased product, was defined by the United States Secretary of Agriculture in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 as follows, "The term ‘‘biobased product’’ means a product determined by the Secretary to be a commercial or industrial product (other than food or feed) that is composed, in whole or in significant part, of biological products or renewable domestic agricultural materials (including plant, animal, and marine materials) or forestry materials OR an intermediate feedstock.

Charles F. Brannan

Charles Franklin Brannan (August 23, 1903 – July 2, 1992) was the United States Secretary of Agriculture from 1948 to 1953. He was a liberal Democrat best known for proposing the "Brannan Plan", which was rejected by a conservative Congress and never took effect. Brannan was also the last living member of Truman's cabinet.

Christie Vilsack

Ann Christine Bell Vilsack (born July 9, 1950) is an American literacy advocate and politician. Vilsack is married to former Iowa Governor and United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. She served as the First Lady of Iowa from 1999 until 2007. She was an unsuccessful 2012 Democratic nominee for U.S. Representative for Iowa's 4th congressional district.

Clifford M. Hardin

Clifford Morris Hardin (October 9, 1915 – April 4, 2010) was an American politician and was the Chancellor of the University of Nebraska. He served as the United States Secretary of Agriculture from 1969 to 1971 under President Richard Nixon.

David Perdue

David Alfred Perdue Jr. (; born December 10, 1949) is an American businessman and politician serving as the junior United States Senator from Georgia since 2015. He was elected in 2014 to the seat previously held by Saxby Chambliss, who retired. Perdue won the Republican primary and defeated Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn. He is a first cousin of Sonny Perdue, former Governor of Georgia and current United States Secretary of Agriculture.

David Perdue started his business career with more than a decade as a management consultant. In 1992 he became a VP at Sara Lee Corporation. During the next decade, he worked with Haggar Clothing, and Reebok. He was unable to correct problems at Pillowtex, which he joined in 2002, leaving after nine months with a large buyout. Perdue next worked for Dollar General, where he did achieve a turnaround, and later for the Gujarat Heavy Chemicals Ltd., whose interests in India included textile mills. Before entering politics, Perdue set up a global trading firm in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ezra Taft Benson

Ezra Taft Benson (August 4, 1899 – May 30, 1994) was an American farmer, government official, and religious leader who served as the 15th United States Secretary of Agriculture during both presidential terms of Dwight D. Eisenhower and as the 13th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1985 until his death in 1994.

James Wilson (Secretary of Agriculture)

James "Tama Jim" Wilson (August 16, 1835 – August 26, 1920) was a Scottish-American politician who served as United States Secretary of Agriculture for sixteen years during three presidencies, from 1897 to 1913. He holds the record as the longest-serving United States Cabinet member, and the only cabinet member to serve under four consecutive presidents.

Jeremiah McLain Rusk

Jeremiah McLain Rusk (June 17, 1830 – November 21, 1893) was a U.S. Representative, the 15th Governor of the U.S. state of Wisconsin from 1882 to 1889 and the second United States Secretary of Agriculture from 1889 to 1893. He also served as Union Army officer during the American Civil War.

John A. Carroll

John Albert Carroll (July 30, 1901 – August 31, 1983) was a Democratic United States Representative and United States Senator from Colorado. Born in Denver, he attended the public schools, and during the First World War served in the United States Army (1918–1919). He graduated from Westminster Law School in Denver in 1929, and was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice in Denver. In 1933 and 1934, he was assistant United States attorney, and was district attorney of Denver from 1937 to 1941. He was regional attorney for the Office of Price Administration in 1942 and 1943, and served in the Second World War as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1945. He resumed the practice of law, and was elected as a Democratic representative to the Eightieth and Eighty-first Congresses (January 3, 1947 to January 3, 1951).

Carroll was not a candidate for renomination in 1950 but was an unsuccessful candidate for election as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1950 and again in 1954. He was special assistant to President Harry Truman in 1951 and 1952.

He was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1956, after defeating former United States Secretary of Agriculture Charles F. Brannan in the Democratic primary and former Republican Governor Daniel I.J. Thornton in the election and served from January 3, 1957 to January 3, 1963. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1962—defeated by Republican Peter H. Dominick—and was a resident of Denver until his death. Interment was at Ft. Logan National Cemetery, Denver.

Michael Scuse

Michael T. Scuse (born 1954) is an American public official. He was the acting United States Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, and, following the resignation of Tom Vilsack on January 13, 2017, was acting United States Secretary of Agriculture until Donald Trump took office as President. He also served as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services since 2012.

National Organic Standards Board

The National Organic Standards Board is an advisory board that makes recommendations to the United States Secretary of Agriculture on organic food and products. Members are appointed by the Secretary and these make recommendations, one of the most important of which is to review and develop the National List of Approved and Prohibited Substances.

Norman Jay Coleman

Norman Jay Colman (May 16, 1827 – November 3, 1911) was a politician, attorney, educator, newspaper publisher, and, for 18 days, the first United States Secretary of Agriculture.

Robert Bergland

Robert Selmer Bergland (July 22, 1928 – December 9, 2018) was an American politician. He served as a member of the House of Representatives from Minnesota's 7th congressional district from 1971 to 1977, and he served as United States Secretary of Agriculture from 1977 until 1981, during the administration of President Jimmy Carter.

Sonny Perdue

George Ervin "Sonny" Perdue III (born December 20, 1946) is an American veterinarian, businessman, and politician currently serving as the 31st United States Secretary of Agriculture since 2017. He previously served as the 81st Governor of Georgia from 2003 to 2011. He was the first Republican Governor of Georgia since Reconstruction.Founder and partner in an agricultural trading company, Perdue served from 2012 to 2017 on the Governors' Council of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C. He is the second Secretary of Agriculture from the Deep South; the first was Mike Espy of Mississippi, who served under President Bill Clinton from January 1993 to December 1994.

On January 18, 2017, President-elect Donald Trump announced that he would nominate Perdue to be Secretary of Agriculture. His nomination was transmitted to the U.S. Senate on March 9, 2017. His nomination was approved by the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry on March 30 by a 19–1 voice vote, and by the entire Senate in a vote of 87–11 on April 24.

Under Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment

The Under Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment, or USA(NRE), is a high-ranking official in the United States Department of Agriculture and the principal advisor to the United States Secretary of Agriculture on policy to promote the conservation and sustainable use of the Nation's natural resources.

The Under Secretary is appointed by the President of the United States with the consent of the United States Senate to serve at the pleasure of the President. The current Under Secretary is James Hubbard as of April 14, 2018. Robert Bonnie, who was appointed by President Barack Obama on July 29, 2013, served before him.

William Marion Jardine

William Marion Jardine (January 16, 1879 – January 17, 1955) was a U.S. administrator and educator. He served as the United States Secretary of Agriculture from 1925 to 1929 and as the U.S. Minister to Egypt from 1930 to 1933.

United States Secretaries of Agriculture
Under Secretary of Agriculture for
Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs
Under Secretary of Agriculture for
Natural Resources and Environment
Assistant to the Secretary for
Rural Development
*
Under Secretary of Agriculture for
Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services
Under Secretary of Agriculture for
Food Safety
Under Secretary of Agriculture for
Research, Education, and Economics
Under Secretary of Agriculture for
Marketing and Regulatory Programs
Under Secretary of Agriculture for
Farm Production and Conservation
Office of the Chief Financial Officer
Current
Past

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