US agricultural secretary Johanns leaves
US agricultural secretary Mike Johanns (photo) has resigned from his
position, president Bush announced on Thursday. Deputy agriculture secretary
Charles Conner will take over as acting secretary.
Johanns is expected to return home to run for the Senate seat
being vacated next year by the Republican senator Chuck Hagel from the state of Nebraska.
Mike Johanns became
the 28th secretary of agriculture on January 21, 2005. He was born in Iowa as
the son of a dairy farmer. Prior to taking up the job at the USDA, he was
governor of the state of Nebraska.
Focus and energy
'brought focus and energy to the department,' president Bush said.
"He was a champion of renewable fuels. He expanded the department's
commitment to conservation. He worked endlessly to open up foreign markets for
American beef. He provided timely assistance to farmers and ranchers devastated
by natural disasters. I couldn't have asked for a better secretary of
In his resignation letter, Johanns wrote that growing
up, he never dreamed of becoming agriculture secretary. "For a farm boy from
Iowa, this truly has been an opportunity of a lifetime."
The new agriculture secretary, Charles Conner, was on the National Economic Council as a
special assistant to the president for agricultural trade and food assistance,
prior to joining the USDA.
He also was president of the Corn
Refiners Association, and held several staff positions with the senate committee
on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.
Related news item:
â€¢ US pork council praises Johanns for service (21 Sept
States Department of Agriculture
â€¢ National Economic Council
â€¢ Corn Refiners Association
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