Ann Veneman, George Bush Jr.'s new Secretary of Agriculture, looks to be everything you'd expect - to judge by the information below:
Veneman is described in a press profile [see below] as "a strong advocate of high tech's role in farming, from e-commerce over the Internet to genetic engineering."
"We simply will not be able to feed the world without biotechnology," - keynote speaker Ann Veneman, former secretary of California Department of Food and Agriculture and then a law firm partner, speaking at an Oct. 20 2000 conference on ways to boost the Monterey County economy by building a local agricultural biotechnology industry [http://danr.ucop.edu/news/July-Dec2000/biotech2.html]
Prior to joining the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Veneman served on the board of directors of the biotech company Calgene Inc.
"a strong proponent of free-market trade.. Ms. Veneman would favor a larger role for business and a retreat from policies that have helped family farms and protected national forest lands" - New York Times
[After a bad case of electile dysfunction, it's now back to business as usual in the US where, it seems, all roads lead to somewhere other than Rome]
George Bush, Sr. appointed MONSANTO'S attorney (Clarence Thomas) to the Supreme Court.
Bob Dole's chief of staff (Donald Rumsfeld) was an ex-president of SEARLE Pharmaceuticals, purchased by MONSANTO.
George Bush Jr.'s new Secretary of Agriculture, Ann Veneman once served on the board of directors of Calgene, Inc., a California biotechnology company.
Calgene developed the genetically engineered Flavor Saver tomato, and was purchased by MONSANTO.
Robert Cohen http://www.notmilk.com
WOMAN IN THE NEWS: ANN M. VENEMAN, NOMINATED U.S. SEC OF AGRICULTURE. TROUBLING CHOICE TO SOME
New York Times
[complete text at: http://www.nytimes.com/2000/12/21/politics/21VENE.html]
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 20 ”” For California Republicans, President- elect George W. Bush's selection of Ann M. Veneman to be secretary of agriculture came as little surprise. As a deputy secretary of agriculture for Mr. Bush's father, Ms. Veneman had been the highest-ranking woman ever to serve in the department. If confirmed as secretary, she would become the first woman to lead it. And last year, when Mr. Bush began organizing his presidential campaign, Ms. Veneman volunteered to serve on his exploratory committee in California. That posed a daunting challenge since Vice President Al Gore, as a candidate, was far more popular, and even among Republicans, Mr. Bush had his opponents: Bill Jones, the secretary of state who is the senior elected Republican official in California, was an early supporter of Senator John McCain of Arizona.
Thus, by his selection today, Mr. Bush has returned a favor. "She's bright. She's capable. She'll do an outstanding job," Mr. Bush said of Ms. Veneman, 51, a former secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Representatives of farming, timber and mining groups applauded her selection, characterizing Ms. Veneman as a centrist willing to balance the interests of all sides in any policy debate.
But as a possible prelude to conflict, environmental groups and organizations representing small farmers called her a troubling choice. They complained that as a strong proponent of free-market trade and multiple-uses for public lands ”” and as a chairwoman of Mr. Bush's campaign in California ”” Ms. Veneman would favor a larger role for business and a retreat from policies that have helped family farms and protected national forest lands.
Mr. Bush's comments today in Austin, Tex., were echoed by representatives of interest groups whose fortunes are tied closely to policy set by the agriculture department. The agency regulates such disparate issues as price supports for farmers, food safety and national forests, which the department oversees through the Forest Service. "She is a great choice," said Bill Pauli, president of the California Farm Bureau, a group that represents 90,000 farmers and ranchers. "She clearly knows and understands process and procedure of agriculture," Mr. Pauli said. "Equally important, she understands the importance of good trade policy, relative to agriculture."
Laura Skaer, executive director of the Northwest Mining Association, said the selection of Ms. Veneman meant that "the pendulum is going to swing the other way" in a Bush administration, after a series of initiatives by President Clinton to withdraw nearly 70 million acres of public lands from resource development or recreational use. "We expect she'll be more friendly to natural resource development," Ms. Skaer said. [continued at: http://www.nytimes.com/2000/12/21/politics/21VENE.html]
BUSH EXPECTED TO NAME ANN VENEMAN AS NEW AG SECRETARY
Fresh from a trip to Washington Tuesday, President-elect George W. Bush returned to Texas, where he was expected today to announce a series of nominations for Cabinet posts, including Ann Veneman as Secretary of Agriculture. Veneman served as director of the California Food and Agriculture Department from 1995 to 1998. She was the highest-ranking woman at USDA from 1989 to 1991, when she served under President George Bush as deputy secretary for international affairs and commodities programs.
VENEMAN'S RECORD: FOREIGN TRADE, FOOD SAFETY, EDUCATION
Ann Veneman, an attorney who is the daughter of California peach farmers, emphasized foreign trade, food safety, and education during her tenure as California's agriculture director.
Appointed by former Gov. Pete Wilson, Veneman is the only woman to have held that state cabinet post. Prior to that, under former President George Bush, she dealt with international trade at USDA, rising to deputy secretary. During that time, she helped negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Uruguay Round talks for the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Since Wilson left office, Veneman has practiced law in Sacramento, but has maintained farm connections as a specialist in food, agriculture, environment, technology, and trade issues. She is a strong advocate of high tech's role in farming, from e-commerce over the Internet to genetic engineering.
From ; http://www.calbar.org/2sec/3bus/4agri/data.htm#veneman
ANN M. VENEMAN
Nossaman, Guthner, Knox, Elliott, LLP Suite 1000, 915 L Street Sacramento, California 95814 (Sacramento County) Telephone: 916-442-8888 Telefacsimile: 916-442-0382 Web-Site: http://www.ngke.com
Ann M. Veneman is currently a partner with the law firm of Nossaman, Guthner, Knox and Elliott, LLP, where she specializes in food, agriculture, environment, technology, and trade related issues. >From 1995 until the change of administration in 1999, she served as Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Veneman was the first woman to be appointed in this position, directing the state agency that oversees the largest agricultural economy in the nation. CDFA's annual budget is $200 million and employs more than 1,800 people who work to ensure a safe, abundant and healthy food supply for the citizens of California.
With a background in international trade, Veneman made it a priority to expand global opportunities for California agriculture. She focused efforts on making CDFA more efficient, competitive and common sense oriented. She overhauled the Department's strategic planning process to include a complete review of business practices, organizational structure and technology integration.
Under her leadership, California was recognized for pioneering partnerships in the development of food safety quality assurance plans. Veneman also worked to increase consumer awareness about the importance of agriculture in California through comprehensive outreach efforts. From 1991 to 1993, Veneman served as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). As the second ranking person at USDA, she directed and oversaw the activities and policies of the USDA and its 42 agencies, with a budget of more than $60 billion and a workforce of 111,000 employees. To date, Veneman is the highest ranking woman to ever serve at USDA.
From 1989 to 1991, Veneman served as Deputy Undersecretary of Agriculture for International Affairs and Commodity Programs. In this assignment, she managed international issues including trade policy, trade negotiations, and food aid. Veneman joined the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service in 1986 and served as Associate Administrator until 1989. She was actively involved in the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations, NAFTA and the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement. Veneman serves on the Board of Directors of the Farm Foundation, the Close-up Foundation, ACDI/VOCA and the Great Valley Center. She is a member of the International Policy Council on Agriculture, Food and Trade, the Bennett Agriculture Round Table, and Food Foresight. She also serves on the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo President's Advisory Cabinet, the U.C. Merced Foundation Board of Trustees, the U.C. Davis School of Medicine Board of Visitors, the U.C. Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean's Advisory Council, the Advisory Council for the U.C. Berkeley College of Natural Resources, and the Joint Policy Council on Agriculture and Higher Education. Prior to joining CDFA she served on the board of directors of Calgene, Inc., a California biotechnology company.
When not serving in government, Veneman previously worked as a practicing attorney with Patton Boggs, L.L.P. In Washington D.C., and Damrell, Nelson, Schrimp, Pallios & Ladine in Modesto, California. She is a member of the Bar in California and in the District of Columbia, and is admitted before the U.S. Supreme Court. She is also a member of the Anthony M. Kennedy Inn of Court.