Farm Bureau Praises President's Choice for Agriculture Secretary
» December 2, 2004 «
Describing him as a knowledgeable and pragmatic supporter of agriculture, the California Farm Bureau Federation welcomed Nebraska Gov. Mike Johanns as the new secretary-designate of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. President George W. Bush announced Johanns' appointment today.
"Based on Governor Johanns' background and experience, we expect him to be a strong advocate for Bush administration programs that maintain the farming way of life and the jobs it supports," California Farm Bureau Federation President Bill Pauli said.
"We look forward to working with Governor Johanns and helping him understand the particular issues that affect California agriculture," Pauli said. "As governor, he has worked hard to open export markets for farmers and ranchers. His understanding of trade issues gives him a head start in the crucial role of maintaining and opening foreign markets for American farm goods."
Pauli said the new secretary of agriculture will also need to emphasize border security.
"Protecting American farms and ranches from imported pests and diseases should be a central focus for USDA," Pauli said.
"We will also make certain that Governor Johanns understands issues vital to California specialty-crop producers," he said. "For example, the USDA must continue to emphasize nutrition and encourage Americans to eat five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
"Our colleagues at the Nebraska Farm Bureau describe Governor Johanns as accessible and pragmatic, two traits that will serve him well at USDA," he said. Johanns has twice earned the Nebraska Farm Bureau "Friend of Agriculture" award.
"We congratulate Mike Johanns on his appointment and will offer him our cooperation to serve America's farmers, ranchers and consumers," Pauli said.
The California Farm Bureau Federation is the state's largest farm organization.
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