The University of Nebraska–Lincoln will celebrate a new biography of former U.S. Trade Representative and Secretary of Agriculture Clayton Yeutter with a Nov. 4 book launch. The event will take place at Sheldon Museum of Art, 12th and R streets in Lincoln, and be livestreamed.
“Rhymes with Fighter: Clayton Yeutter, American Statesman,” by Joseph Weber, associate professor of journalism at Nebraska, celebrates the life and career of Yeutter, who grew up in Eustis, Nebraska, attended the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and embarked on a career in which he worked with four U.S. presidents and helped shape international trade policy. “Rhymes with Fighter” will be published in December by the University of Nebraska Press.
Yeutter was instrumental in the negotiation of the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement (which led to the North American Free Trade Agreement) and the creation of the World Trade Organization. A lawyer with a doctorate in agricultural economics, Yeutter also led the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, now called the CME Group. The family farm roots he held close led him to another top job — as President George H. W. Bush’s secretary of agriculture.
“My friend Clayton Yeutter was a giant for Nebraska and our nation, and his legacy of service is strong on campus,” Chancellor Ronnie Green said. “I am thrilled that so many more people can get to know him and his life’s impact through his new biography published by our university’s press.”
Yeutter’s intellectual firepower, paired with an engaging personality and a beaming smile, helped him make friends and find common ground with leaders and trade officials worldwide. “Rhymes with Fighter” details Yeutter’s life from a rural Nebraska childhood in the Great Depression to a Washington career that spanned four presidencies.
Yeutter died in 2017, but his passion for trade continues through the university’s Clayton Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance. The institute prepares students for leadership roles in international trade and finance, supports interdisciplinary research related to trade and increases public understanding of these issues. The Yeutter Institute was instrumental in the publication of the book, Weber said.
“A book can live for a long time, and as long as there are outfits like the Yeutter Institute that teach about people like him, folks will remember people like him for a long time,” he said.
The Nov. 4 launch will begin at 3 p.m. and will feature live remarks by Green, Weber, Yeutter Institute Director Jill O’Donnell and Cristena Bach Yeutter, a member of the Yeutter Institute Advisory Council and Yeutter’s wife of 21 years. Additionally, Yeutter Institute Advisory Council members and trade leaders Darci Vetter and Warren Maruyama will join virtually.
Books will be available for sale and signing by the author at the event. Parking will be at the Que Place Garage, 1111 Q St., or the Larson Building and Garage, 1317 Q St. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. More information and a link to RSVP are available here. A livestream will be available at the site on the day of the event.