Clayton Yeutter, who served as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture under President George H.W. Bush, has died at his Maryland home at the age of 86 following a four-year battle with colon cancer.

Yeutter was born in Eustis, Nebraska, in 1930 and earned his B.S. in animal husbandry from the University of Nebraska in 1952. He served in the Air Force for five years.

He started his career in agriculture as a farmer and a cattle feeder in 1957.

President Reagan appointed Yeutter U.S. Trade Representative in July of 1985 and in February of 1989, he was sworn in as the Secretary of Agriculture, serving until March 1, 1991.

Yeutter later served as Chairman of the Republican National Committee. He was also president and CEO of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.