K-State to host seven former US agriculture secretaries

The agricultural leaders will participate in a roundtable discussion

Kansas State University‘s next Landon Lecture is bringing together seven former U.S. agriculture secretaries, who have served every presidency since the Ronald Reagan administration. The public is invited to attend this next Landon Lecture on October 21, from 7 to 9 p.m. at McCain Auditorium.

The past U.S secretaries of agriculture who will attend the event include Mike Johanns, Ann Veneman, Dan Glickman, Ed Schafer, Mike Espy, Clayton Yeutter and John Block.

Barry Flinchbaugh, K-State emeritus professor of agricultural economics, helped organize the event, which he said was a long time in the making. It is a very unusual experience having all seven secretaries together, Flinchbaugh said, and the timing of this lecture is important.

“We still don’t have a farm bill,” he said. “And we’re reaching the debt ceiling. It should be very timely, and the wisdom on that stage is going to be unbelievable. It’s obviously going to be bi-partisan, because there will be secretaries from Democrat and Republican administrations.”

Flinchbaugh will moderate the panel. He said he plans to ask each former secretary to make an opening statement and will follow with a few opening questions he has prepared. Those present in the audience can then ask questions from the floor.

“We hope there is a lot of interaction,” Flinchbaugh said. “We won’t lack for issues to talk about, but obviously the farm bill is going to be front and center. These seven people certainly have unique experiences that they can bring to these questions.”

The Alfred M. Landon Lecture Series on Public Issues is one of the most prestigious lecture series in American colleges and universities. Former K-State President James A. McCain started the series in 1966 in honor of Landon, a former Kansas governor and 1936 Republican Party nominee for U.S. president.