See also: NPPC Applauds Johanns Appointment

President Bush has chosen Nebraska Governor Mike Johanns as the new USDA Secretary of Agriculture. Johanns would succeed Ann Veneman, who recently announced her resignation.

Born in Iowa and raised on a dairy farm, Johanns, 54, became a lawyer and served in county and city government before becoming mayor of Lincoln, Neb., in 1991. He won the governor's office in 1998 and in 2002 became the first Republican to win re-election in more than four decades.

His selection reflects the administration's desire to focus heavily on farm trade over the next four years. As governor, Johanns led a delegation of Nebraska's farm and business leaders on a trade mission to Japan, Taiwan, China, Singapore and a half dozen other countries.

Associated Press