Schafer is nation's new agriculture secretary

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Ed Schafer
Ed Schafer

Ed Schafer, a former governor of North Dakota, became the new secretary of the Department of Agriculture as of Jan. 28. He replaces Mike Johanns, who resigned in late September 2007 to run for a Nebraska seat in the U.S. Senate.

"As a two-term governor and business leader, Ed has distinguished himself as an executive with a proven record of results," said President Bush after the Senate confirmed Schafer as agriculture secretary.

A grandson of North Dakota farmers, Schafer served as the governor of the state from 1992-2000. His top priorities were diversifying and expanding the state's economy, reducing the cost of government, and advancing agriculture. After leaving office, Schafer co-founded the company Extend America to provide wireless voice and high-speed data services to commercial and residential customers in five rural Midwestern states.

"I realize that the mission of this agency goes far beyond the services delivered to the preservation of a way of life that I believe is the foundation of this country," Schafer said on his nomination.