US agricultural secretary Johanns leaves

21-09-2007 | |

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
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
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.”

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.”

New secretary
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 websites:
United States Department of
Agriculture

National Economic Council
Corn Refiners Association

Correspondents



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