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Ann Veneman

Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman

Ann Margaret Veneman is the current and 27th Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). She was appointed by President George W. Bush, confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate, and took office upon his inauguration on January 20, 2001.

Under President George H. W. Bush, Veneman served as USDA Deputy Secretary from 1991 to 1993 and as Deputy Undersecretary of Agriculture for International Affairs and Commodity Programs from 1989 to 1991. She joined the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service in 1986 and served as Associate Administrator until 1989. Veneman was actively involved in the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations, NAFTA, and the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement.

From 1995 to 1999, Veneman served as Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), managing agricultural programs and services for the nation's largest agricultural producing state.

Secretary Veneman, an attorney, was raised on a peach farm in Modesto, California. She earned her bachelor's degree in political science from the University of California, Davis, and a master's degree in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a juris doctorate degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. In her personal capacity, she currently serves as a board member of the Close Up Foundation, a nonpartisan civic education organization, based in Washington, DC.