The White House will announce later on Monday the resignation of Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, administration sources said.

Veneman submitted her letter of resignation on Friday to President Bush, but will stay in office until her successor can take over.

There was no immediate word on who Bush would nominate to head the department. An official announcement would be made later in the day.

Veneman, a California lawyer, was the first woman to head USDA.  Lobbyists and congressional aides have said possible replacements for agriculture secretary could include Allen Johnson, the current farm negotiator with the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, White House agriculture advisor Chuck Conner or Texas Rep. Charles Stenholm, a Democrat and farm policy expert who lost his seat earlier this month after serving 13 terms in the House.

Reuters