Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Mark Ritchie suggested for ag secretary

As if Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie doesn’t have enough to keep him busy these days, some influential thinkers in food and agricultural policy are suggesting him to the Obama transition team as a possible secretary of agriculture.

Writer Wendell Berry, journalist Michael Pollan and several others have sent a letter suggesting Ritchie and five others for the job. Ritchie has a background in ag policy, serving in the Perpich administration and helping to found the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

Others on the list are Gus Schumacher, former undersecretary of agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services at the USDA and former Massachusetts commissioner of agriculture; Chuck Hassebrook, executive director, Center for Rural Affairs; Sarah Vogel, former commissioner of agriculture in North Dakota; Fred Kirschenmann, organic farmer and Distinguished Fellow, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Ames, Iowa; and Neil Hamilton, attorney, Dwight D. Opperman Chair of Law and director, Agricultural Law Center, Drake University.

You can add your name to the letter at the Food Democracy Now website.



You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Nancy Gertner on 12/09/2008 - 12:22 pm.

    My late father lived on a farm for 74 years. The farm was profitable enough for him to purchase new automobiles twice in his lifetime, in 1966 and in 1967, during the tenure of Orville Freeman as Agriculture Secretary during the LBJ Administration.

    I think it’s time to send a Minnesotan to be Ag Secretary again!

    Let’s bring profitability back to the Family Farm.

Leave a Reply