Nebraska native Clayton Yeutter, who served as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, has died at his Maryland home at the age of 86.
Yeutter's death followed a four-year battle with colon cancer.
Yeutter was born in Eustis, Nebraska, December 10, 1930 and earned his B.S. in animal husbandry from the University of Nebraska in 1952. He served in the Air Force for five years.
He earned his law degree in 1963, and in 1966, his Ph.D. in agricultural economics, from the University of Nebraska. Yeutter started his career in agriculture as a farmer and a cattle feeder in 1957.
President Reagan appointed Yeutter U.S. Trade Representative in July of 1985 and in February of 1989, he was sworn in as the Secretary of Agriculture, serving until March 1, 1991.
Yeutter later served as Chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse issued a statement saying, "Whether it was in Lincoln, Washington, or halfway around the world, Clayton was a Nebraska statesman through and through. His humility, integrity, and dedication to public service made our state proud. Melissa and I are saddened by this loss and keep his family in our prayers.”
And from Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer: "Bruce and I were saddened to hear of the passing of Secretary Clayton Yeutter. Secretary Yeutter was a remarkable Nebraskan and a man of great integrity. He fought tirelessly for the economic engine of our state: agriculture. Cristena and the entire Yeutter family are in our prayers.”
Third District Congressman Adrian Smith called Yeutter "a true statesman who generously shared his time and expertise. No one understood the importance of trade to Nebraska agriculture better than he did, and his many years of public service benefited generations of agriculture producers across the country. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”