Senate Confirms New Ag Secretary

Schafer becomes the 29th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Former North Dakota Governor Ed Schafer was confirmed in short order by the full Senate Monday. There was no vote; Senator Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., read a simple request for unanimous consent.

"Governor Schafer is a distinguished former governor from our state," Dorgan said. "It's a great honor for our state to have him nominated for Secretary of Agriculture. I ask for unanimous consent."

Senator Christopher "Kit" Bond, R-Mo., also addressed the matter.

"We obviously need a good strong Secretary of Agriculture," Bond said. "And we are pleased to see this body move forward."

There was no dissention and Schafer became head of the USDA. Schafer was nominated last fall following former Ag Secretary Mike Johanns' resignation to run for the Senate from Nebraska.

National Farmers Union President Tom Buis congratulated Schafer on his confirmation.

"His time as governor of North Dakota, a state with a large agriculture economy, has given him an understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing family farmers, ranchers and consumers in the countryside."

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