Ed Schafer was sworn in as the 29th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Jan. 28, 2008.

Secretary Schafer brings a record as an innovative two-term governor of North Dakota to USDA along with extensive private-sector experience as both an entrepreneur and a business executive.

Schafer served as North Dakota's governor from 1992 to 2000 and made diversifying and expanding North Dakota's economy, reducing the cost of government and advancing agriculture his top priorities in office.

He worked to normalize trading relations with China and develop that nation as an export market for North Dakota farm products. He also led efforts to upgrade North Dakota's communications infrastructure and make high-speed voice and data networks available to farmers, ranchers and rural businesses.

To expand the state's job base, he encouraged the growth of value-added agricultural industries such as pasta and corn sweetener manufacturing.

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