September 21, 2007
September 21, 2007 - resident George W. Bush announced on Thursday that Mike Johanns resigned as secretary of agriculture to seek a senate seat from Nebraska. Johanns took office in January 2005.
"The secretary has been a real friend of the sheep industry," stated Paul Frischknecht, past president of the American Sheep Industry Association. "During his tenure as secretary of agriculture, I, along with many other industry leaders, had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with Johanns. We always felt that he listened to the concerns of the sheep industry and supported us as we worked to resolve issues."
"He 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. He provided timely assistance to farmers and ranchers devastated by natural disasters. I couldn't have asked for a better Secretary of Agriculture."
Charles Conner, deputy agriculture secretary, has been named acting agriculture secretary. Connors, the second-ranking official at USDA, has led the department's lobbying effort on the Farm Bill, a multi-year reauthorization of all U.S. agriculture programs.