USDA chief Mike Johanns resigns
US secretary of agriculture Mike Johanns has resigned
with immediate effect, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has
announced. Deputy secretary of agriculture Chuck Conner has become acting
The resignation comes as no surprise, following recent media speculation that
Johanns was considering running for the US Senate to represent his home state of
Johanns was secretary of agriculture for nearly three years. He
took up his position shortly after a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy
(BSE) was discovered in a cow in Washington state, sending the North American
livestock industry into a tailspin from which it is still recovering.
his resignation letter to the president, Johanns noted that US beef exports had
increased 18% over last year, despite continuing international resistance to US
beef, particularly from South Korea and Japan.
The newly appointed acting
secretary, Chuck Conner, was sworn in as deputy secretary of agriculture in May
He has a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural economics from
Purdue University, Indiana. Before joining the USDA, he worked as an
agricultural legislative assistant to Senator Richard G Lugar, and served on the
Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee.
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