United States Secretary of Agriculture
|Secretary of Agriculture of the United States of America|
Seal of the Department of Agriculture
Flag of the Secretary of Agriculture
|United States Department of Agriculture|
|Reports to||The President|
|Seat||Washington, D.C., U.S.|
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|
|Deputy||Deputy Secretary of Agriculture|
|Salary||Executive Schedule, level 1|
The United States Secretary of Agriculture is the head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The current Acting Secretary is Michael Scuse, who has held the office since the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017. 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. 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. The Food Stamp Program works with the states to provide food to low-income people. Advice for farmers and gardeners is provided by the United States Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service.
The line of succession for the Secretary of Agriculture is as follows:
- Deputy Secretary of Agriculture
- Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services
- Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Administration
- Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services
- Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics
- Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety
- Under Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment
- Under Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development
- Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs
- General Counsel of the Department of Agriculture
- Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary
- State Executive Directors of the Farm Service Agency (in order of seniority by length of unbroken tenure) for the States of:
- Regional Administrators of the Food and Nutrition Service (in order of seniority by length of unbroken tenure) for the:
- Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Agriculture
- Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Civil Rights
- Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Congressional Relations
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." President Obama asked him to stay and asked him to look into the problem of opioid addiction.
List of Secretaries of Agriculture
The following is a list of Secretaries of Agriculture, since the creation of the office in 1889.
|No.||Portrait||Name||State of Residence||Took Office||Left Office||President(s)|
|1||Norman J. Coleman||Missouri||February 15, 1889||March 6, 1889||Grover Cleveland|
|2||Jeremiah M. Rusk||Wisconsin||March 6, 1889||March 6, 1893||Benjamin Harrison|
|3||J. Sterling Morton||Nebraska||March 7, 1893||March 5, 1897||Grover Cleveland|
|4||James Wilson||Iowa||March 5, 1897||March 3, 1913||William McKinley|
|William Howard Taft|
|5||David F. Houston||Missouri||March 6, 1913||February 2, 1920|
|6||Edwin T. Meredith||Iowa||February 2, 1920||March 4, 1921|
|7||Henry C. Wallace||Iowa||March 5, 1921||October 25, 1924||Warren G. Harding|
|8||Howard M. Gore||West Virginia||November 22, 1924||March 4, 1925|
|9||William M. Jardine||Kansas||March 5, 1925||March 4, 1929|
|10||Arthur M. Hyde||Missouri||March 6, 1929||March 4, 1933||Herbert Hoover|
|11||Henry A. Wallace||Iowa||March 4, 1933||September 4, 1940||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|12||Claude R. Wickard||Indiana||September 5, 1940||June 29, 1945|
|Harry S. Truman|
|13||Clinton P. Anderson||New Mexico||June 30, 1945||May 10, 1948|
|14||Charles F. Brannan||Colorado||June 2, 1948||January 20, 1953|
|15||Ezra Taft Benson||Utah||January 21, 1953||January 20, 1961||Dwight D. Eisenhower|
|16||Orville Freeman||Minnesota||January 21, 1961||January 20, 1969||John F. Kennedy|
|Lyndon B. Johnson|
|17||Clifford M. Hardin||Nebraska||January 21, 1969||November 17, 1971||Richard Nixon|
|18||Earl Butz||Indiana||December 2, 1971||October 4, 1976|
|19||John A. Knebel||Oklahoma||November 4, 1976||January 20, 1977|
|20||Robert Bergland||Minnesota||January 23, 1977||January 20, 1981||Jimmy Carter|
|21||John R. Block||Illinois||January 23, 1981||February 14, 1986||Ronald Reagan|
|22||Richard E. Lyng||California||March 7, 1986||January 21, 1989|
|23||Clayton K. Yeutter||Nebraska||February 16, 1989||March 1, 1991||George H. W. Bush|
|24||Edward R. Madigan||Illinois||March 8, 1991||January 20, 1993|
|25||Mike Espy||Mississippi||January 22, 1993||December 31, 1994||Bill Clinton|
|26||Dan Glickman||Kansas||March 30, 1995||January 20, 2001|
|27||Ann Veneman||California||January 20, 2001||January 20, 2005||George W. Bush|
|28||Mike Johanns||Nebraska||January 21, 2005||September 20, 2007|
|29||Ed Schafer||North Dakota||January 28, 2008||January 20, 2009|
|30||Tom Vilsack||Iowa||January 20, 2009||January 13, 2017||Barack Obama|
|Delaware||January 13, 2017||Incumbent|
Pending Senate confirmation
Living former Secretaries of Agriculture
As of February 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 Clifford M. Hardin (served 1969–1971, born 1915), on April 4, 2010. 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|
|Robert Bergland||1977–1981||July 22, 1928|
|John R. Block||1981–1986||February 15, 1935|
|Clayton K. Yeutter||1989–1991||December 10, 1930|
|Mike Espy||1993–1994||November 30, 1953|
|Dan Glickman||1995–2001||November 24, 1944|
|Ann Veneman||2001–2005||June 29, 1949|
|Mike Johanns||2005–2007||June 18, 1950|
|Ed Schafer||2008–2009||August 8, 1946|
|Tom Vilsack||2009-2017||December 13, 1950|
- "USDA Forest Service - Caring for the land and serving people.". Fs.fed.us. Retrieved 2005-09-24.
- "Home". Fs.fed.us. Retrieved 2005-09-24.
- "FNS Food Stamp Program Home Page". Fns.usda.gov. Retrieved 2005-09-24.
- "Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES)". Csrees.usda.gov. Retrieved 2005-09-24.
- "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.
- Jaffe, Greg (2016-09-26). "Tom Vilsack's lonely fight for a 'forgotten' rural America". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-01-21.
- "Former Secretaries". United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2007-09-24.
|United States presidential line of succession|
Secretary of the Interior
|9th in line||Succeeded by
Secretary of Commerce