United States Secretary of Agriculture

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Secretary of Agriculture of the United States of America
Seal of the United States Department of Agriculture.svg
Seal of the Department of Agriculture
Flag of the United States Secretary of Agriculture.svg
Flag of the Secretary of Agriculture
Secretary Sonny Perdue official photo.jpg
Incumbent
Sonny Perdue

since April 25, 2017
United States Department of Agriculture
Style Mr. Secretary
Member of Cabinet
Reports to The President
Seat Washington, D.C., U.S.
Appointer The President
with Senate advice and consent
Term length No fixed term
Constituting instrument 7 U.S.C. § 2202
Formation February 15, 1889
First holder Norman Jay Coleman
Succession Ninth[1]
Deputy Deputy Secretary of Agriculture
Salary Executive Schedule, level 1
Website www.usda.gov

The United States Secretary of Agriculture is the head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The current 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 that are produced in the United States and sold here 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]

In 2015, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack expressed the desire to resign to President Obama. The Washington Post reports that he said "There are days when I have literally nothing to do," he recalled thinking as he weighed his decision to quit."[6] President Obama asked him to stay and asked him to look into the problem of opioid addiction.[6]

List of Secretaries of Agriculture

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.jpg Norman J. Coleman Missouri February 15, 1889 March 6, 1889 Grover Cleveland
2 Jeremiah McLain Rusk - Brady-Handy.jpg Jeremiah M. Rusk Wisconsin March 6, 1889 March 6, 1893 Benjamin Harrison
3 J. Sterling Morton, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing left.jpg J. Sterling Morton Nebraska March 7, 1893 March 5, 1897 Grover Cleveland
4 James Wilson(U.S. politician)-seated.jpg James Wilson Iowa March 5, 1897 March 3, 1913 William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
5 DFHouston.jpg David F. Houston Missouri March 6, 1913 February 2, 1920
6 E.T. Meredith, ggbain.16011u.jpg Edwin T. Meredith Iowa February 2, 1920 March 4, 1921
7 Henry Cantwell Wallace.jpg Henry C. Wallace Iowa March 5, 1921 October 25, 1924 Warren G. Harding
Calvin Coolidge
8 Howard Mason Gore.jpg Howard M. Gore West Virginia November 22, 1924 March 4, 1925
9 W.M. Jardine.jpg William M. Jardine Kansas March 5, 1925 March 4, 1929
10 Arthur M. Hyde.jpg 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.jpg 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.jpg Clinton P. Anderson New Mexico June 30, 1945 May 10, 1948
14 Charles F. Brannan.jpg Charles F. Brannan Colorado June 2, 1948 January 20, 1953
15 Ezra Taft Benson - USDA portrait.gif Ezra Taft Benson Utah January 21, 1953 January 20, 1961 Dwight D. Eisenhower
16 Orville L. Freeman, Secretary of Agriculture (1961-1969).jpg Orville Freeman Minnesota January 21, 1961 January 20, 1969 John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
17 Clifford Morris Hardin - USDA portrait.png Clifford M. Hardin Nebraska January 21, 1969 November 17, 1971 Richard Nixon
18 Earl Lauer Butz - USDA portrait.png Earl Butz Indiana December 2, 1971 October 4, 1976
Gerald Ford
19 John Albert Knebel - USDA portrait.png John A. Knebel Oklahoma November 4, 1976 January 20, 1977
20 Robert Bergland - USDA portrait.jpg Robert Bergland Minnesota January 23, 1977 January 20, 1981 Jimmy Carter
21 John Block.jpg John R. Block Illinois January 23, 1981 February 14, 1986 Ronald Reagan
22 Richard E. Lyng, 22nd Secretary of Agriculture, March 1986 - January 1989. - Flickr - USDAgov.jpg Richard E. Lyng California March 7, 1986 January 21, 1989
23 Clayton Yeutter, 23rd Secretary of Agriculture, February 1989 - March 1991..jpg Clayton K. Yeutter Nebraska February 16, 1989 March 1, 1991 George H. W. Bush
24 Edward R. Madigan, 24th Secretary of Agriculture, March 1991 - January 1993. - Flickr - USDAgov.jpg Edward R. Madigan Illinois March 8, 1991 January 20, 1993
25 Mike Espy.jpg Mike Espy Mississippi January 22, 1993 December 31, 1994 Bill Clinton
26 Dan glickman.jpg Dan Glickman Kansas March 30, 1995 January 20, 2001
27 Ann Veneman.jpg Ann Veneman California January 20, 2001 January 20, 2005 George W. Bush
28 Mike Johanns.jpg Mike Johanns Nebraska January 21, 2005 September 20, 2007
Charles F. Conner, official USDA photo portrait.jpg Charles F. Cunner
(Acting)
Indiana September 20, 2007 January 28, 2008
29 SchaferEd-official.jpg Ed Schafer North Dakota January 28, 2008 January 20, 2009
30 Tom Vilsack, official USDA photo portrait.jpg Tom Vilsack Iowa January 20, 2009 January 13, 2017 Barack Obama
Michael T. Scuse official portrait.JPG Michael Scuse
Acting
Delaware January 13, 2017 January 20, 2017
Michael Young 20170216-DM-RBN-7992 (32557392300).jpg Mike Young
Acting
January 20, 2017 April 25, 2017 Donald Trump
31 Sonny Perdue headshot.jpg Sonny Perdue Georgia April 25, 2017 Incumbent

Living former Secretaries of Agriculture

As of October 2017, there are nine living former Secretaries of Agriculture, the oldest being Robert Bergland (served 1977-1981, born 1928). The most recent Secretary of Agriculture to die was Clayton Yeutter (served 1989–1991, born 1930), on March 4, 2017. 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 (1936-10-04) October 4, 1936 (age 81)
Robert Bergland 1977–1981 (1928-07-22) July 22, 1928 (age 89)
John R. Block 1981–1986 (1935-02-15) February 15, 1935 (age 82)
Mike Espy 1993–1994 (1953-11-30) November 30, 1953 (age 63)
Dan Glickman 1995–2001 (1944-11-24) November 24, 1944 (age 72)
Ann Veneman 2001–2005 (1949-06-29) June 29, 1949 (age 68)
Mike Johanns 2005–2007 (1950-06-18) June 18, 1950 (age 67)
Ed Schafer 2008–2009 (1946-08-08) August 8, 1946 (age 71)
Tom Vilsack 2009-2017 (1950-12-13) December 13, 1950 (age 66)

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. ^ https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/3/19
  2. ^ "USDA Forest Service - Caring for the land and serving people.". Fs.fed.us. Retrieved 2005-09-24. 
  3. ^ "Home". Fs.fed.us. Retrieved 2005-09-24. 
  4. ^ "FNS Food Stamp Program Home Page". Fns.usda.gov. Retrieved 2005-09-24. 
  5. ^ "Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES)". Csrees.usda.gov. Retrieved 2005-09-24. 
  6. ^ a b Jaffe, Greg (2016-09-26). "Tom Vilsack’s lonely fight for a ‘forgotten’ rural America". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-01-21. 
  7. ^ "Former Secretaries". United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2007-09-24. 
  8. ^ "Amendments to Delegations of Authority, United States Department of Agriculture". Federalregister.gov. Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved 2016-10-29. 

External links

  • United States Department of Agriculture website
Current 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
Current U.S. presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Secretary of the Interior
Ryan Zinke
9th in line Succeeded by
Secretary of Commerce
Wilbur Ross
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