In 1985 Richard E. Lyng and William Lesher formed Lyng and Lesher Inc., an agricultural consulting firm in Washington D.C. Before entering private practice, Lesher was the Assistant Secretary for Economics, U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1981-1985. From 1978 to 1980 he was the Chief Economist for the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. Lesher also worked as an agriculture Legislative Assistant to Senator Richard G. Lugar from 1977-1978. 
The 1981 speech when he became Assistant Secretary:
- "The President announced today his intention to nominate William Gene Lesher to be Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Economics. Mr. Lesher has been serving in the position of Director of Economics, Policy Analysis and Budget, Department of Agriculture. From August 1980 to January 1981, Mr. Lesher served as chief economist for the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. He had served as an economist for the committee since 1978. In 1977 - 78 he was agricultural legislative assistant to Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.). In 1976 - 77 Mr. Lesher was acting assistant professor with the Department of Agricultural Economics at Cornell University. He had been with Cornell University since 1972. Mr. Lesher was graduated from Purdue University in 1968. He received his M.S. from Oregon State University in 1970 and his Ph. D. from Cornell University in 1977. He is the author of several publications on land use and agriculture. Mr. Lesher is married and has two children. He lives with his family in Burke, Va. Mr. Lesher is 34 years old." 
Lehser attended Purdue University (B.S.), Oregon State (M.S.) and Cornell University (Ph.D.) where he majored in agricultural economics and public policy. He has authored and co-authored numerous articles, papers, and speeches. 
- Profile: William Lesher, Lesher & Russell.
- "Nomination of William Gene Lesher To Be an Assistant Secretary of Agriculture", February 1981.
- "Lobby League #25 Agriculture: Lesher & Russell: William Lesher, Randy Russell", The Hill, December 8, 2004.