Bob Bergland, former agriculture secretary, dies at 90


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Former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Bob Bergland, a farmer from northern Minnesota who was tasked with promoting President Jimmy Carter’s unpopular Soviet Union grain embargo to different farmers, died Sunday. He was 90.

Bergland died at a nursing dwelling in his hometown of Roseau, close to the U.S.-Canadian border, his daughter Linda Vatnsdal mentioned. He had been on the nursing dwelling for a couple of week after a few weeks in a hospital, she mentioned.

As agriculture secretary, Bergland had the tough job of defending to Midwest farmers Carter’s unpopular 1980 determination to embargo grain gross sales to the Soviet Union after the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.

Vice President Walter Mondale recalled Sunday that each he and Bergland didn’t just like the grain embargo.

“I do not suppose it was good coverage,” Mondale instructed The Related Press on Sunday. “That is going to imply Russians are going to purchase their grain some other place. … I urged the president to not do it. He felt he needed to do it.”

Carter misplaced his re-election bid to Ronald Reagan, and Bergland’s time period as agriculture secretary ended with the Carter administration in 1981.

Mondale mentioned Bergland was a “good man, additionally a really assured man.”

“Carter felt very constructive about him. He was very profitable in that place. Farmers appreciated him. That is a tricky job. Folks in agriculture revered him, and he was at all times doing very nicely there,” Mondale added.

Bergland, a Democrat, was a U.S. Home member from 1971 to 1977 earlier than turning into agriculture secretary underneath Carter. Whereas heading the U.S. Division of Agriculture, Bergland commissioned a serious report on the construction of American agriculture, “A Time to Select,” and likewise a USDA research on natural farming. He later served as vp and basic supervisor of the Nationwide Rural Electrical Cooperative Affiliation and as a regent on the College of Minnesota.

His funeral is deliberate for Saturday in Roseau.

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