United States Secretary of Agriculture
The United States secretary of agriculture is the head of the United States Department of Agriculture. The position carries similar responsibilities to those of agriculture ministers in other governments.
|United States Secretary of Agriculture|
|United States Department of Agriculture|
|Reports to||President of the United States|
|Seat||Jamie L. Whitten Building, Washington, D.C.|
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 I|
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 and sold in the United States 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.
Secretary of Agriculture is a Level I position in the Executive Schedule, thus earning a salary of US$221,400, as of January 2021.
Since February 24, 2021, the current secretary is Tom Vilsack, who had previously served as the 30th secretary of agriculture in the Obama administration.
List of secretaries of agriculture
|No.||Portrait||Name||State of residence||Took office||Left office||President(s)|
|1||Isaac Newton||Pennsylvania||July 1, 1862||June 19, 1867||Abraham Lincoln|
|2||Horace Capron||December 4, 1867||July 31, 1871|
|Ulysses S. Grant|
|3||Frederick Watts||Pennsylvania||August 1, 1871||1877|
|4||William Gates LeDuc||Minnesota||July 1, 1877||1881||Rutherford B. Hayes|
|5||George B. Loring||Massachusetts||July 1, 1881||1885||James A. Garfield|
|Chester A. Arthur|
|6||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.
Acting Secretary of Agriculture
Nominee for Secretary of Agriculture
|No.||Portrait||Name||State of residence||Took office||Left office||President(s)|
|1||Norman Jay Coleman||Missouri||February 15, 1889||March 6, 1889||Grover Cleveland|
|2||Jeremiah McLain Rusk||Wisconsin||March 6, 1889||March 6, 1893||Benjamin Harrison|
|3||Julius 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||Woodrow Wilson|
|6||Edwin T. Meredith||Iowa||February 2, 1920||March 4, 1921|
|7||Henry Cantwell Wallace||Iowa||March 5, 1921||October 25, 1924||Warren G. Harding|
|8||Howard Mason Gore||West Virginia||November 22, 1924||March 4, 1925|
|9||William Marion 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 Presba 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 Albert Knebel||Oklahoma||November 4, 1976||January 20, 1977|
|20||Robert Bergland||Minnesota||January 23, 1977||January 20, 1981||Jimmy Carter|
|21||John Rusling Block||Illinois||January 23, 1981||February 14, 1986||Ronald Reagan|
|22||Richard Edmund Lyng||California||March 7, 1986||January 21, 1989|
|23||Clayton Keith Yeutter||Nebraska||February 16, 1989||March 1, 1991||George H. W. Bush|
|24||Edward Rell Madigan||Illinois||March 8, 1991||January 20, 1993|
|25||Mike Espy||Mississippi||January 22, 1993||December 31, 1994||Bill Clinton|
|California||December 31, 1994||March 30, 1995|
|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|
|–||Charles F. Conner
|Indiana||September 20, 2007||January 28, 2008|
|29||Ed Schafer||North Dakota||January 28, 2008||January 20, 2009|
|Iowa||January 20, 2009||January 13, 2017||Barack Obama|
|Delaware||January 13, 2017||January 20, 2017|
|January 20, 2017||April 25, 2017||Donald Trump|
|31||Sonny Perdue||Georgia||April 25, 2017||January 20, 2021|
|January 20, 2021||February 24, 2021||Joe Biden|
|Iowa||February 24, 2021||Incumbent|
Living former secretaries of agriculture
As of June 2021, there are nine 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|
|John R. Block||1981–1986||February 15, 1935|
|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|
|Sonny Perdue||2017–2021||December 20, 1946|
Line of succession
- 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
- "3 U.S. Code § 19 - Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act". LII / Legal Information Institute.
- "USDA Forest Service - Caring for the land and serving people". Fs.fed.us. Retrieved September 24, 2005.
- "Home". Fs.fed.us. Retrieved September 24, 2005.
- "FNS Food Stamp Program Home Page". Fns.usda.gov. Retrieved September 24, 2005.
- "Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES)". Csrees.usda.gov. Retrieved September 24, 2005.
- 5 U.S.C. " § 5312"
- "Salary Table No. 2021-EX Rates of Basic Pay for the Executive Schedule (EX)" (PDF).
- 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 October 26, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2018. Alt URL
- "Former Secretaries". U.S. Department of Agriculture. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
- "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.
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
as Secretary of the Interior
| Order of precedence of the United States
as Secretary of the Agriculture
as Secretary of Commerce
|U.S. presidential line of succession|
Secretary of the Interior
|9th in line||Succeeded by|
Secretary of Commerce