"I've worked with Ed Schafer on several matters important to the Dakotas and I believe he is a good man and is a great choice to serve as the next Secretary of Agriculture. As a North Dakotan who descended from a pioneer farm family, he understands that agriculture is the foundation of the economy in the Dakotas. Governor Schafer also understands how critical the biofuels industry is to our two states. It will be a big advantage for South Dakota to have someone from the Dakotas in that position," said Thune.
Thune and Schafer discussed the 2007 Farm Bill, which will be debated on the floor of the Senate next week.
"We had a good discussion about the Farm Bill and what it means for the Dakotas. We discussed the importance of the ethanol industry and, in particular, my Biofuels Innovation Program that has been included in both the House and Senate versions of the Farm Bill. I was impressed with his level of knowledge and commitment to help America's family farmers and the entire agriculture sector," said Thune.
Before being confirmed by the full U.S. Senate, Schafer must first be confirmed by the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, on which Senator Thune serves.
The only other Dakotan who has served as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture is Clinton Presba Anderson from Centerville, South Dakota, who was Secretary from June 30th 1945 to May 10th 1948.