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Secretary of Agriculture


Secretary of Agriculture

Secretary of Agriculture of the United States of America
Flag of the Secretary of Agriculture
Seal of the Department of Agriculture
Tom Vilsack
since 20 January 2009
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Member of Cabinet
Reports to The President
Seat Washington, D.C., U.S.
Appointer The President
Term length No fixed term
Constituting instrument § 2202
Formation 15 February 1889
First holder Norman Jay Coleman
Succession Ninth
(presidential line of succession)
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 secretary is Tom Vilsack, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on 20 January 2009. [1] 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]

The line of succession for the Secretary of Agriculture is as follows:[6]

  1. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture
  2. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services
  3. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs
  4. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development
  5. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services
  6. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment
  7. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics
  8. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety
  9. General Counsel of the Department of Agriculture
  10. Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Administration
  11. Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Congressional Relations

Secretaries of Agriculture

The following is a list of Secretaries of Agriculture, since the creation of the office in 1889.[7]


      Democratic       Republican

No. Portrait Name State of Residence Took Office Left Office President(s)
1 Norman J. Colman 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 Tama Jim Wilson Iowa March 5, 1897 March 3, 1913 William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft
5 David F. Houston Missouri March 6, 1913 February 2, 1920 Woodrow Wilson
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
Calvin Coolidge
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 L. 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 L. Butz Indiana December 2, 1971 October 4, 1976
Gerald Ford
19 John A. Knebel Oklahoma November 4, 1976 January 20, 1977
20 Robert S. 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 Alphonso M. Espy Mississippi January 22, 1993 December 31, 1994 Bill Clinton
26 Daniel R. Glickman Kansas March 30, 1995 January 20, 2001
27 Ann M. Veneman California January 20, 2001 January 20, 2005 George W. Bush
28 Michael O. Johanns Nebraska January 21, 2005 September 20, 2007
29 Edward T. Schafer North Dakota January 28, 2008 January 20, 2009
30 Tom J. Vilsack Iowa January 20, 2009 Incumbent Barack Obama

Living Former Secretaries of Agriculture

See also


External links

United States presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Secretary of the Interior
9th in line Succeeded by
Secretary of Commerce

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