Neb. Governor Chosen for Agriculture Post

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President Bush on Thursday selected Nebraska Gov. Mike Johanns, a Republican attorney who grew up on an Iowa dairy farm, as secretary of Agriculture to oversee the nation's farm and food programs.

Bush said Johanns was "an experienced public servant from America's agricultural heartland" with a long record of being "a faithful friend to America's farmers."

Johanns, 54, would succeed Ann M. Veneman, who recently announced her resignation despite saying earlier that she wanted to stay.

So far, seven of Bush's 15-member Cabinet have announced they won't be part of the second term. More are expected, and administration officials say Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson appears to be next.

Bush announced his intention to nominate the two-term governor in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

The nomination, which requires Senate confirmation, reflects the administration's desire to focus heavily on farm trade over the next four years.