Jay Truitt, Vice President of Government Affairs National Cattlemen's Beef Association:
“Ed Schafer has been a strong advocate for North Dakota cattle producers and for American agriculture. He is keenly aware of the challenges being faced by rural communities and especially by our nation’s ranchers and farmers.
“I know from speaking with many of our North Dakota members of his efforts to help agriculture and farming communities during some very difficult times. Our cattlemen can be assured that Schafer will look to them to provide input and to establish an open dialogue about the policies that affect their operations.
“While serving as governor of North Dakota from 1992 to 2000, Ed Schafer was a team leader, a strong organizer, and always open to new ideas and concepts. He is experienced in dealing with issues such as disaster assistance, international trade and renewable energy policy – all issues at the forefront of today’s political environment.
In 2000, Schafer led an agricultural trade mission to China to help open new markets. This experience may prove to be especially crucial as our work continues toward reopening our Asian markets to U.S. beef. We’re hopeful we can continue our progress in this area.
“Schafer has always embraced proposals which lower taxes, promote entrepreneurship, limit government interference and rely on a market-based system. Schafer also has been a steadfast supporter of grassroots involvement. These are also the principles embodied by our cattle producers.
“He will bring a fresh perspective to USDA at a time when American agriculture is facing many new challenges in policy development and opportunities in innovation and technology. This is a critical time for U.S. agriculture, and we’re looking forward to working with Mr. Schafer to help guide the cattle and beef industry into the future.
“We also want to thank Acting Secretary Chuck Conner for his service during this interim period, and we look forward to continuing our long-standing working relationship with him.”