(Sept. 20) Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns submitted a letter of resignation to President Bush on Sept. 19, telling him that he is seeking a “new opportunity to serve this great nation.” The resignation was effective immediately, and President Bush announced the resignation at a press conference Sept. 20.

Johanns is widely expected to announce his intention to run for the U.S. Senate seat that will be vacated by Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. Hagel has announced he won’t run again in 2008.

Johanns drew praise as a friend to the produce industry.

“He has been a strong advocate for a lot of the issues we have dealt with,” said Robert Guenther, senior vice president of public policy for the United Fresh Produce Association, Washington, D.C. “He is someone who has really listened to our needs,” he said. “We are going to miss him.”

Deputy Agriculture Secretary Charles Conner will replace Johanns and serve as acting secretary. Guenther said Conner will represent a smooth transition, as Johanns and Conner have worked very much as a team.

To see Johanns’ resignation letter to President Bush go here.


Mike Johanns (left) has resigned as Agriculture Secretary. Deputy Agriculture Secretary Charles Conner will replace Johanns and serve as acting secretary.