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BILL SCHUETTE TO LEAVE AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT; PRAISES GOVERNOR ENGLER'S 'NEW DIRECTION' FOR MICHIGAN

 LANSING, Mich., Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Bill Schuette, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture, announced today he will be resigning his cabinet-level post as of Feb. 25.
 Schuette will formally disclose his intentions at a meeting of the Michigan Commission of Agriculture in Grand Rapids.
 In commenting on his decision, Schuette stated, "I am truly grateful for the opportunity to have served in the administration of Gov. John Engler. Gov. Engler is moving Michigan in a new direction -- a path of lower taxes, more jobs, and a higher quality of education for our children."
 During Schuette's tenure as director, he implemented a series of environmental policy initiatives, including the Michigan Groundwater and Freshwater Protection Act which provides a framework for the use of pesticides and fertilizers in Michigan.
 Schuette also created the Michigan Harvest Gathering, an effort to raise money and food for the hungry. In a three-year period he raised over $900,000 and 1.5 million pounds of food to benefit food banks across Michigan.
 In addition, Schuette maintained the Department of Agriculture's ongoing commitment to food safety and worked to secure funding for the $70 million Animal Livestock Initiative at Michigan State University.
 Schuette remarked, "I am thankful to the Commission of Agriculture for its warmth and counsel during the past three years. Also, I am extremely appreciative of the kindness and professionalism provided by my friends at MDA and the support of farmers and farm groups who always extend a hand to me."
 The former three-term member of the United States House of Representatives has been director and agriculture's chief policymaker since 1991.
 Schuette indicated he will re-join the Midland-based law firm of Currie & Kendall, P.C., where he worked in the early 1980's. Currie & Kendall is one of mid-Michigan's largest law firms offering a wide variety of professional legal services and counsel.
 Schuette, his wife, Cynthia, and daughter, Heidi, reside in Midland.
 -0- 1/6/94
 /CONTACT: Margaret R. Cooke, press and public affairs division of the Michigan Department of Agriculture, 517-373-1104/


CO: Michigan Department of Agriculture ST: Michigan IN: SU: LEG

KT -- DE019 -- 9714 01/06/94 11:16 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 6, 1994
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