UND graduate Ed Schafer confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

University of North Dakota graduate and former North Dakota Governor Ed Schafer has been confirmed as the next U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Schafer's nomination by President George W. Bush was ratified by the U.S. Senate Jan. 28.

"Our congratulations to Ed and Nancy! This is an historic day for all North Dakotans and especially the University of North Dakota," said President Charles Kupchella. "We are obviously extremely pleased to have a UND graduate serve on the President’s Cabinet and to head an agency which has such a direct relevance and importance for the people of North Dakota. Ed served with distinction as Governor of North Dakota, and he served UND very effectively and substantively as a member of our Foundation Board for many years. We know he will carry out the duties of Secretary of Agriculture with distinction and continue to make all of us very proud."

President George Bush said, "I appreciate that the Senate today unanimously confirmed Ed Schafer to be our next Secretary of Agriculture. As a two-term governor and business leader, Ed has distinguished himself as an executive with a proven record of results.

"Ed will lead a department that oversees our food, agriculture, natural resources, food safety, and health and nutrition programs. He will be an advocate for farmers, ranchers, and consumers as he works to open new markets for their products. And he will work with the Congress to pass a responsible farm bill that will provide a safety net for farmers and protect our lands and the environment, while at the same time ensuring federal tax dollars are spent wisely.

"I look forward to seeing Ed take his seat along with the rest of my Cabinet at this evening’s State of the Union." Shafer, who has been invited to be the main commencement speaker at UND's spring 2008 graduation ceremonies, is a 1969 UND graduate with a degree in business administration.

Schafer was elected governor of North Dakota in 1992 and 1996. During those years he was a staunch supporter of higher education, and was particularly helpful to UND, the city of Grand Forks, and the Red River Valley during the Flood of 1997.