Johanns Confirmed as Secretary of Agriculture
|Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns
Another Nebraskan, Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat, reportedly turned down a White House offer of the agriculture job before Bush picked Johanns. Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., said Johanns' experience growing up on an Iowa dairy farm and his work on trade, renewable energy and rural development prepare him for the new job, according to the Omaha World-Herald.
Some of his first issues will deal with beef, both importing and exporting it. Pressure already is being applied to stop the reopening of beef imports from Canada following more discoveries of mad cow disease there. Meanwhile, Johanns has said his top priority will be working toward the resumption of beef sales to Japan. That country traditionally is America's largest beef buyer, but Japan banned U.S. beef after the sole U.S. case of mad cow in December 2003.