Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has revealed that Renate Kunast, a trained lawyer and social worker, will become agriculture minister following the resignation of Social Democrat Karl Heinz-Funke over allegations of poor conduct over the BSE crisis. The choice of candidate, the co-leader of the Green Party, heralds a new approach for German agriculture towards environmental farming, and is a distinct move away from the 32-year tradition of hiring a farmer to the important post. It may in fact be that, after national papers spoke of a government crisis over the mad cow issues, it is more important for Schroeder to calm consumer critics than to please the farmers.