The Post has an article on USDA (food safety is the top priority according to GAO) and a sidebar for three candidates for Secretary: Gov. Sebelius, Charles Stenholm, and Dennis Wolff. Interesting choice for Obama, not that I know any of the candidates or their capacity, but when does ignorance stop a blogger?
Stenholm would be strongest in the area of reforming farm programs and reorganizing the county agencies, but he doesn't exactly fit Obama's agenda or public face. Nor is there a farm bill on schedule in 2009-12. Neither Wolff nor Sebelius would bring any expertise in dealing with Congress. So the choice: take a chance on someone strong who might go off the reservation, or do a figurehead like most previous Secretaries. "Figurehead" is too strong, but IMHO Obama would be wise to go that way--USDA is simply not that important on his priorities.