CLAYTON YEUTTER
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YEUTTER CLAYTON YEUTTER Clayton Yeutter died at home in Potomac, MD, on March 4, 2017, after a four-year battle with metastatic colon cancer. Clayton Yeutter moved as seamlessly among high level positions in both the public and private sectors as has anyone in the U.S. in the post-World War II period. He did so while maintaining the respect and cooperation of friend and political foe alike. He held a Cabinet post (U.S. Trade Representative) under President Reagan, another (Secretary of Agriculture) under President George H.W. Bush, and then had a short stint (1991) as Chairman of the Republican National Committee, before finishing his tenure in government as Counselor to the President, a Cabinet-level White House post, also under President George H. W. Bush. Earlier in his career he held two sub-Cabinet appointments in the Department of Agriculture and then a sub-Cabinet appointment in the Office of the Special Trade Representative. Straddling these public sector undertakings was a seven year tenure as CEO of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. That was the beginning of an enormous period of growth for the exchange, which now has the largest market cap of any exchange in the world. Yeutter was raised an only child on a central Nebraska farming and cattle operation which struggled to survive in the drought/depression years of the 1930s. Thanks to the hard work of his parents, the Yeutter farm did survive. Clayton Yeutter went on to earn a B.S. in Animal Husbandry, a J.D. and a Ph.D. (agricultural economics), all from the University of Nebraska with highest academic honors. Yeutter's first public service involvement was as Chief of Staff to the Governor of Nebraska from 1967-68. He then received his international baptism as Director of the Nebraska Mission to Colombia, then the largest agricultural technical assistance program in the world. That led him into the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where his mentor, Dr. Clifford Hardin, had become Secretary. Yeutter made his mark in trade negotiations during the second Reagan term. He led the negotiations of what was then an historic U.S. Canada Free Trade Agreement, which later became NAFTA. In contrast to what some American political figures have been saying recently, most independent analysts would rate NAFTA as one of the most successful trade negotiations ever consummated. Yeutter also played a major role in launching the Uruguay Round of negotiations, which culminated in creation of the World Trade Organization. He and his team negotiated a whole host of bilateral agreements, including historic agreements with Japan on semiconductors, beef and citrus. In addition, he was heavily involved in helping persuade the European Union to begin reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy. As Secretary of Agriculture, Yeutter managed the 1990 Farm Bill process, resulting in the most market oriented policy the U.S. had followed since the 1930s. Clayton Yeutter was born on December 10, 1930 in Eustis, Nebraska. His first wife, Jeanne Vierk Yeutter, died suddenly in 1993 after 40 years of marriage. He is survived by his wife of 21 years, Cristena Bach Yeutter, of Potomac. He is also survived by his children Brad (Deb) of Lincoln, NE, Gregg (Jill) of Omaha, NE, Kim Bottimore (John) of Vienna, VA, Van (Shelley) of Chevy Chase, MD, and Victoria, Elena and Olivia, all of Potomac, nine grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 8, at The Fourth Presbyterian Church, 5500 River Rd., Bethesda, MD. A reception will immediately follow in the Upper Room of the church. Private burial will be at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be directed to the University of Nebraska Foundation for the support of the Clayton Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance (#01126990), University of Nebraska Foundation, 1010 Lincoln Mall, Suite 300, Lincoln, NE 68508. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be directed to the University of Nebraska Foundation for the support of the Clayton Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance (#01126990), University of Nebraska Foundation, 1010 Lincoln Mall, Suite 300, Lincoln, NE 68508.


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Published in The Washington Post from Mar. 5 to Mar. 8, 2017.
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12 entries
March 30, 2017
I have just learned about Dr. Yeutter's death. For some time I have had him in my mind so I opened Wikipedia and what a shock to learn that he died March 4 of this year. My name is Emma Mendoza. I think I was Emma Berryman when I met Dr. Yeutter in Bogota, Colombia. He was the Director of the University of Nebraska Mission in Colombia and I was honored to be his secretary in Bogota until the program ended. I kept with his news throughout all these years - what a wonderful human being and professional he was. I once got in touch with him years ago, but then lost contact and for some reason I wanted to know where he was and if I had the chance to contact him. I am so very sorry. I had the most time with the Mission and all the other professionals. I also worked with Frank Davis, Ph.D. But I lost contact with him also. It would be wonderful to hear from him sometime.
To Dr. Yeutter's family my most profound sadness for this sad news. i will always keep the memories of the time with the University of Nebraska Mission in Colombia.
Emma Mendoza - my e-mail: emmamndz@aol.com
March 27, 2017
I was honored to serve under Mr. Yeutter when he was Secretary of Agriculture. He was a good man and a class act
Richard Albertson
March 9, 2017
IT WAS AN HONOR TO HAVE SERVED YOU SIR. I PRAY THE FAMILY TAKE COMFORT IN THE LOVING MEMORIES HE CREATED WHILST STILL HERE.MAY HE AWAKEN TO JOYFUL ACTIVITIES.
March 7, 2017
The MEAT INDUSTRY HALL OF FAME had the great honor of inducting him into the Hall just a few short weeks ago. His personal and public accomplishments were phenomenal. He is an industry giant who will be sorely missed
Chuck Jolley
March 7, 2017
A man loved and respected, who led an exemplary life of service.
Richard Morris
March 6, 2017
Clayton was a wonderful person who treated all with respect. A great leader and public servant. Was privileged to work for him in the Washington office of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Jim Copeland
March 6, 2017
I am saddened to hear about Mr. Yeutter. He was my Ag Economics professor at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln during the early 1960's and was so outstanding. I kept in touch for a few years after college and always admired his integrity and love for our Ag economy. May God bless you all at this very sad time.
Rolen Sell
March 6, 2017
Dear Van, Shelley and Yeutter family:

We are very saddened to hear of your dad's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.

Ivan and Kristie Galic
Ivan Galic
March 6, 2017
Clayton Yeutter was the best boss a political appointee could ever have, and certainly the very best boss I have ever had. Brilliant, committed, supportive and ethical. He inspired me to do my best and give my all.
Adis Vila
March 5, 2017
Our friend and family member. A well lived life. Now , a well earned rest.
Bruce and Janet Brown
March 5, 2017
The world lost a GREAT MAN and Clarice and I lost a wonderful Mentor and someone who did so very much for me1 I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER MY FELLOW NEBRASKAN AND ADVISOR WHO GOT ME ELECTED LT. GOV OF DELAWARE!! Dale Wolf
March 5, 2017
Our deepest sympathies go out to Clayton's family. He was such a kind man. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
The Gilbert Devine Family
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