posted February 1, 2005
Nebraska Gov. Michael O. Johanns was confirmed by the Senate Jan. 20 as secretary of agriculture, replacing Ann M. Veneman, who announced her resignation late last fall. Earlier that month, Johanns had won unanimous approval from members of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
When President Bush nominated Johanns, the president called the two-term governor "an experienced public servant" who would bring to the position "a lifetime of involvement in agriculture and a long record of a faithful friend to America's farmers and ranchers."
A son of Iowa dairy farmers, Johanns has said that as governor, he has devoted a substantial amount of time promoting rural economic development and agricultural issues, not only in Nebraska, but across the country and overseas.
Johanns told members of the Senate committee that loyalty to agriculture would always drive his decision making. Moreover, he pledged to "stand side-by-side with the dedicated employees of the (USDA) and to work as a team in advocating for rural America."