Jubilation has turned to worry in some farming circles over Ronald Reagan's choice for secretary of agriculture. Farmers generally applauded when Illinois Director of Agriculture John Block was appointed to the federal post -- one source even saying farmers had "struck gold" with him.
After the appointment, however, Block referred to food as a possible "weapon" for foreign policy. Even though he later moderated that to call it a "tool" and , finally, an "instrument for peace," to many farmers his statements sounded like he was opening the barn door wide to increased government interference in agriculture.
That's not all. Frets one agribusiness man who wants a "revived, strong, and independent" Department of Agriculture: The choice of a man with no Washington experience for secretary of agriculture sounds like that department is being relegated to a lower rank in the Reagan Cab inet.m