Letter Accepting the Resignation of John R. Block as Secretary of Agriculture

January 7, 1986

Dear Jack:

It is with deep regret and heartfelt appreciation for your service to my Administration that I accept your resignation as Secretary of Agriculture, effective February 14, 1986.

One of the greatest satisfactions I have experienced as President has been to work with people like you: dedicated, patriotic Americans willing to put their exceptional talents and wide experience to work -- full time and overtime -- in key decisionmaking roles in order to build an even better America with a brighter future for all our people.

Yours has been a challenging assignment, and you have handled it with great distinction. We have come a long way together. Following up on our campaign promise, we removed the grain embargo and stuck to it. The consistency of our policy has helped the American farmer to win back markets some had thought we might have lost for good. And, beyond that, our far-sighted export initiatives have helped to create new markets abroad for our agricultural producers. Through our PIK program we made headway in reducing the economic stress being felt in rural America.

I'm especially proud, and you should be too, of the 1985 Farm Bill that starts getting government out of the way, so that enterprise and innovation can have free play.

I believe that our Farm Credit legislation has done much to restore the integrity of the farm credit system and provide lower interest rates for farmers, another of our goals and promises.

There is more, Jack, much more than can be squeezed into a letter. I guess I say it all when I say that you have been an invaluable member of our team from Day One. We knew we could always count on you.

One thing there is room for, and that is a heartfelt thank you for all you have done, not just for my Administration, but for this country we love.

The resounding vote of confidence we received from the American people in the last national election was due in no small measure to the things you have helped us to accomplish. The American people, especially our farmers, owe you a debt of gratitude.

You got results because you had what it takes: imagination and leadership, and above all vision and a deep sense of purpose. It is a vision we share of an America that gives a fair shake and deserved encouragement to those who work on our farms and ranches, our orchards and vineyards to produce and market the agricultural products that make us a land of such blessed abundance.

That vision has been the mainspring of your brilliant accomplishments as Secretary of Agriculture. We will miss you, Jack, but I am confident you will continue to make important contributions to America as you return to the private sector.

My warmest wishes go with you, Sue, and your family, and Nancy joins me in the prayer that you will find only happiness, success, and great fulfillment in the years ahead. God bless you always.

Sincerely,

/s/Ronald Reagan


Dear Mr. President:

For the past five years, it has been my great honor and privilege to serve as your Secretary of Agriculture. The proudest moment of my life was when you asked me to be a member of your Cabinet. It is, therefore, with great regret that I today herewith submit my resignation to be effective Friday, February 14, 1986.

One of the greatest challenges I have experienced has been the opportunity to serve you and American Agriculture. I believe I have made a difference -- building an improved future for this great industry.

The times have been difficult in rural America for many but with farm program reforms, farm credit legislation, and interest rate declines, I think we have set the stage for real recovery. Although there is much yet to be accomplished, we have made meaningful progress.

As Secretary of Agriculture, I have attempted to serve you with loyalty, dedication and relentless perseverance. I shall serve you with the same team spirit in private life.

You and Nancy are an inspiration to all Americans and to the world as well. I am convinced that the future will bring even more success to this great Nation under your guidance. Sue and I both thank you for the confidence you expressed in us and for asking us to assist in fulfilling your vision of an America with strength, optimism and pride.

Sincerely,

/s/Jack