President Bush on Thursday announced that he has chosen Nebraska Gov. Mike Johanns to be the new secretary of agriculture to oversee the nation's farm and food programs. If confirmed by the Senate, Johanns, whose term is set to end in 2007, would succeed Ann M. Veneman who recently announced her resignation
Johanns was first elected Governor of Nebraska in 1998 and is currently serving a second term. In addition, he serves as co-chairman for the Western Governors' Association on drought issues. In the past, he has chaired the National Governors' Association Committee on Economic Development and Commerce. As Nebraska's Governor, he has led a number of delegations of government, business and agriculture leaders on trade missions throughout Asia and South America.
Prior to becoming Governor, he served two terms as Mayor of Lincoln, Nebraska. Earlier in his career, Governor Johanns was a partner in the law firm of Nelson, Johanns, Morris, Holdeman and Titus. He also clerked for the Honorable Hale McCown at the Nebraska Supreme Court.
Governor Johanns received his bachelor's degree from St. Mary's College in Winona, Minnesota and his law degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.
“Governor Johanns was born and raised on a cattle operation and knows first-hand the needs of producers and rural communities,” says Jan Lyons, a Kansas cattle producer and president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). “He has served six years as governor of one of our nation’s largest cattle-producing states, and we’re enthusiastic about working with him.”