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Schafer proud of his time as agriculture secretary

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Outgoing USDA chief Ed Schafer says he's pround of his time in office
Outgoing USDA chief Ed Schafer says he's pround of his time in office

Outgoing U.S. Department of Agriculture secretary Ed Schafer says he is happy with the job he did as USDA chief but says he has no plans to pursue another political office.

Schafer, who was North Dakota governor from 1992 to 2000, was confirmed as USDA secretary in October 2007, replacing Mike Johanns and says although his time in office was short, he feels he made considerable improvements.

"I can look back and say I put my stamp on some pretty significant things, even though I was there only a year," Schafer told the Associated Press.

Schafer also gave his support to newly confirmed agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack who he says as former governor of Iowa, has the benefit of experience running an agriculture state.

Among the accomplishments Schafer says he was proud of during his tenure was the promotion of biofuels and the loan programs set up to develop alternative fuels.

However, Schafer said he has no plans to run for office in the future.

In one of the last announcements under Schafer, the USDA announced this week that it was guaranteeing $80 million in loans for the construction of a cellulosic ethanol plant in Georgia.ADNFCR-2034-ID-18987791-ADNFCR

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