Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Robert Bergland (1977–1981): Secretary of Agriculture

Robert Selmer Bergland was born in Roseau, Minnesota, on July 22, 1928, and graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Agriculture in 1948. He was a farmer by trade and became chairman of the Minnesota Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service from 1961 to 1963. Bergland later became Midwest director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1963 to 1968.

Bergland served as the U.S. representative from Minnesota's Seventh District from 1971 to 1977 before moving into the Carter administration. He served as secretary of agriculture to President Carter from 1977 to 1981.

After his tenure in the cabinet, Bergland served as president of Farmland World Trade from 1981 to 1982 and became the vice president and general manager of the National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association in 1982.