January 29, 1986
The President. I am pleased to make an announcement today with regard to the Department of Agriculture -- that our Secretary of Agriculture is going to be Dick Lyng, who, 19 years ago, came to work for me when I was Governor of California. He served as the director of agriculture there in the cabinet. He also has a background in the field of agriculture -- a very sound one. And then, here, he has served as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. And so, I have asked him to now serve as the Secretary of Agriculture, and he has agreed.
We have a farm problem. We think the new program that has been passed and the measures that are going to be taken in farm credit are going to help get farming back more into the market economy than it has been and rectifies some of the things that have been wrong with regard to government's imposition on agriculture. And I have every confidence that the farmers are going to have a sound and solid friend in the Secretary of Agriculture, Dick Lyng.
Thank you for being here.
Mr. Lyng. My pleasure. Thank you.
Q. Mr. President, a lot of farmers thought you should have picked a working farmer for this job. Why didn't you?
The President. I picked one that's been a pretty hard-working farmer most of his life. Just because he isn't on a tractor right now doesn't mean he isn't a farmer.
Q. In the aftermath of yesterday's disaster, what are your feelings today, sir?
The President. They're still much as they were yesterday. I think all of us have kind of escaped the numbness of shock that we all felt, but life has to go on and so does the space program.
Note: The President spoke to reporters at 10:20 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House.