USDA chief resigns, Senate campaign may be in the future

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Washington - 9/22/07 - United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced his resignation earlier this week and is expected to soon announce plans of running for a Senate seat.

Washington - 9/22/07 - United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced his resignation earlier this week and is expected to soon announce plans of running for a Senate seat.

A former Nebraska governor, Johanns, 57, was praised for his representation of farmers, ranchers and the agriculture industry by President Bush at a White House ceremony. After almost three years as agriculture secretary, Johanns says he plans to continue in a role of public service.

"I have decided to pursue a new opportunity to serve this great nation," says Johnanns in his resignation letter.

Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Connor was named acting secretary in place of Johanns, who supported the appointment and praised Connor's participation in working to implement the farm bill.

"Few people are as knowledgeable and insighful about farm bill policy. He is supported by some of the most dedicated civil servants in the federal government," says Johanns of Connor.

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