Historic Gathering of Agriculture Secretaries

Cindy Zimmerman

This is one Agricultural Outlook Forum I really wish I could have attended just to see most of the past and present Secretaries of Agriculture gathered on one stage together to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Pictured here are the eight secretaries who took part in a panel at the forum last Thursday moderated by current Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Top row are Clayton Yeutter (1989-1991), Dan Glickman (1995-2001), Mike Espy (1993-1994), and John Block (1981-1986); bottom row are Senator Mike Johanns (2005-2008), Vilsack, Ann Veneman (2001-2005), and Ed Schafer (2008-2009). The only living agriculture secretary not present was Bob Bergland who served under Jimmy Carter from 1977-1981. But all were included in a USDA video shown at the event “Secretaries of Agriculture – 30 Leaders, 150 Years.”

“Nine Secretaries of Agriculture, representing 35 years of service, in one place at the same time was an incredible opportunity to learn about USDA’s contributions to the strength and health of this nation with an eye for the impact the department can have in the future,” said Vilsack. “As we reflect on the department’s 150 years, this historic gathering will help us guide how we transform USDA into a more modern and efficient service provider.”

Watch the USDA video below:

President Lincoln established USDA because he recognized the potential of America’s farmers and ranchers to provide a safe, ample food supply for our nation and the world. Throughout 2012, USDA will recognize important events, such as President Lincoln’s signing of an Act to establish the Department of Agriculture on May, 15, 1862 and the July signing of the Morrill Act to establish public land grant universities.

See more photos of Secretaries Day at the USDA on the agency’s Flickr photo album.

Here’s a couple of stories the USDA’s Rod Bain had on the newsline from the event:
Historic Gathering Future of Agriculture

Audio, USDA, Video