US agricultural secretary Johanns leaves
US agricultural secretary Mike Johanns 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
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
Focus and energy
Johanns '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 agriculture."
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."
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.
• United States Department of
• National Economic Council
• Corn Refiners Association
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