A Conversation with the Secretaries

From left: Steve Custer, Charlene Finck and Roger Bernard, all of Farm Journal Media; former secretaries Mike Johanns, Ann Veneman, Dan Glickman, Mike Espy, Clayton Yeutter and John Block; Charles Stenholm, Olsson Frank and Weeda; and Neil Conklin, Sheldon Jones and Mary Thompson, all of Farm Foundation.

WASHINGTON DC: Seven former U.S. Secretaries of Agriculture offered advice to the new leadership of USDA and perspectives on the challenges facing agriculture today in a ”Conversation with the Secretaries” at the Food and Agriculture Policy Summit Wednesday on  Dec. 3, 2008, in Washington D.C. The Summit was a collaboration of Farm Journal and Farm Foundation.

At this historic gathering, the former secretaries offered advice and insight on what the next U.S. Secretary of Agriculture should expect. The former secretaries also discussed the top challenges facing U.S. agriculture, including energy, market volatility, food safety, the tightening of credit and the food, fuel and financial situation as major problems.

The former secretaries who participated include:

  • Michael O. Johanns, who served Jan. 21, 2005 – Sept. 20, 2007 under George W. Bush
  • Ann M. Veneman, who served Jan. 20, 2001 – Jan. 20, 2005 under George W. Bush
  • Mike Espy, who served Jan. 22, 1993 – Dec. 31, 1994 under Bill Clinton
  • Daniel R. Glickman, who served March 30, 1995 – Jan. 19, 2001 under Bill Clinton
  • Clayton K. Yeutter, who served Feb. 16, 1989 – March 1, 1991 under George H. W. Bush
  • John R. Block, who served Jan. 23, 1981 – Feb. 14, 1986 under Ronald Reagan
  • Robert S. Bergland, who served Jan. 23, 1977 – Jan. 20, 1981 under Jimmy Carter (Mr. Bergland participated via video.)

Former Texas Congressman Charles Stenholm and Farm Journal Washington and Policy Editor Roger Bernard moderated the event.

Here is a link to C-Span coverage: click on the button in the “flash” box on the right of the screen and the video will load and play. It is best viewed on a high-speed connection.

A 98 minute video of the entire event may be viewed online with Windows Media Player or downloaded as an mpeg4 file for later viewing.

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