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President George W. Bush
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Acting Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner
Chuck Conner was sworn in as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture on May 2, 2005, by Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns.
Mr. Conner's love for agriculture goes back to his childhood, growing up on his family's farm in Benton County, Indiana. There, he worked with his father and brother raising corn, soybeans, and cattle. Mr. Conner's brother, Mike, still operates the family farm.
Since coming to the Department, Mr. Conner has worked tirelessly to develop and promote the Administration's farm policy. Along with former Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns, Mr. Conner led farm bill listening sessions around the country, hearing first-hand from farmers and other stakeholders about their likes and dislikes with the current farm bill. He also led the Department's review of over 4000 comments which were used to develop a sound policy direction for the future of American agriculture. Mr. Conner continues to lead the Administration's efforts for farm policy reform.
Prior to his tenure at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Mr. Conner served on the National Economic Council beginning in November 2001 as a Special Assistant to the President for Agricultural Trade and Food Assistance, focusing primarily on Farm Bill issues.
From 1997 to 2001, Mr. Conner was President of the Corn Refiners Association, Inc., a national trade association representing the corn refining industry. Prior to his tenure with the Corn Refiners Association, Conner held several staff positions with the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
Mr. Conner served as both the Majority Staff Director (1995-1997) and the Minority Staff Director (1987-1995), of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee. He also worked as a Professional Staff Member for the Committee from 1985 to 1987. Prior to joining the Senate Committee in Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Conner worked as an Agricultural Legislative Assistant to Senator Richard G. Lugar.
Mr. Conner received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University in 1980. He is married and has four children.