Stenholm: USDA Remake Needs Food Safety Focus

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ A former Texas congressman tells the Kansas Livestock Association that the Agriculture Department needs to be restructured to better oversee food safety.

Former Rep. Charles Stenholm is among those whose name has been floated as a potential agriculture secretary. Stenholm told cattlemen that he believes that Colorado Democratic Rep. John Salazar is probably the top name on that list.

Stenholm says he has not been contacted by the transition team members picking the agriculture secretary. But he says he was contacted Thursday by the transition team at the Agriculture Department to offer his input at a Monday meeting. The transition team is hiring other positions in the agriculture department. They also want to hear about other front-burner farm issues.

Stenholm says he does not expect to be tapped as agriculture secretary. But he is quick to add that if Obama asks him to take the position he would accept it in a heartbeat.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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