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Transcript: Bush Selects Johanns for Agriculture Secretary

FDCH E-media
Thursday, December 2, 2004; 1:36 PM

President Bush nominated Mike Johanns to serve as agriculture secretary. A transcript of the announcement follows.

BUSH: Thank you all. Good morning.

I am pleased to announce my nomination of Governor Mike Johanns to be the secretary of agriculture.

JOHANNS: Thank you, Mr. President.

BUSH: Governor Johanns is an experienced public servant from America's agricultural heartland. As the son of Iowa dairy farmers he grew up close to the land. He will bring to this position a lifetime of involvement in agriculture and a long record of a faithful friend to America's farmers and ranchers.

He will lead an important agency with the executive skill he has learned as mayor and as a two-term governor of Nebraska.

I've known Mike for a number of years going back to my own service as a governor. I know firsthand his deep commitment to a strong farm economy. He's been a leader on drought relief in Nebraska and throughout the Midwest. He's a strong proponent of alternative energy sources, such as ethanol and biodiesel. He's traveled the world to promote American farm exports.

Governor Johanns is a man of action and of complete integrity. He knows how to bring people together to achieve results. He has been a superb leader for the people of Nebraska. And I'm grateful that he's agreed to take on this important new responsibility in my Cabinet.

BUSH: I'm grateful as well to Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman for leading the Department of Agriculture these past four years.

Secretary Veneman has earned the trust of farmers and ranchers across America, and the whole nation has benefited from her service. Ann played a central role in passing the 2002 farm bill, which has been critical to the success of our farmers. She's kept our nation's commitment to fighting hunger and has overseen major improvements in school nutrition programs.

Ann led our efforts to prevent the spread of mad cow disease and worked hard to secure the food supply against the threat of bioterrorism. And she has helped set in motion an incredibly important effort to maintain the health of our forests and protect the lives and property from devastating wildfires.

I chose Ann Veneman for her great expertise, her sound judgment and her bipartisan spirit, and she has displayed those qualities every day of her tenure.

Ann has also carried out her duties while facing serious illness.

BUSH: And for that she has earned my increased admiration and the respect of her fellow citizens.

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