Scuse, who worked as a farmer with his brother, has a long history in agriculture. He was chairman of the Farm Service Agency's state committee in Delaware from 1996 to 2001. His responsibilities as chairman included talking with farmers across the state and acting as an intermediary between farmers and the Agriculture Department. Scuse, 58, was sworn in as Delaware's agriculture secretary in May 2001 and led the department until 2008, after which he became chief of staff to Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, a Democrat. Scuse joined USDA in 2009 as deputy undersecretary for farm and foreign agricultural services. In January 2011, he was named acting undersecretary for the farm and foreign agricultural services and was confirmed for that post in 2012. During Scuse's confirmation hearing, Sen. Christopher Coons, D-Del., introduced him by noting that "it is a rare and good day when I see good people advance here in Washington, and Michael is one of the best." Scuse was appointed to his current post as acting deputy secretary in May. Scuse was born in Dover, Del., and attended Salem College in West Virginia, where he studied political science for one year but left without earning a degree.