Earl Lauer Butz (July 3, 1909 – February 2, 2008) was a United States government official who served as Secretary of Agriculture under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.
Born in Albion, Indiana, Butz worked on his parents' 160-acre (0.65 km2) farm while growing up. He was an alumnus of Purdue University where he was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture in 1932, and then a doctorate in Agricultural Economics in 1937. He was the uncle of NFL player Dave Butz.
In 1948, Butz became vice president of the American Agricultural Economics Association, and three years later was named to the same post at the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. In 1954, he was appointed Assistant Secretary of Agriculture by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. That same year he was also named chairman of the United States delegation to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. He left both of the aforementioned posts in 1957, when he became the Dean of Agriculture at his alma mater, Purdue University. In 1968, he was promoted to the positions of Dean of Education and vice president of the university's research foundation.