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Transcript: Bush Selects Johanns for Agriculture Secretary

I'm proud to know her. And I thank her for serving our country.

The policies we've pursued over the last four years have revived America's economies and have helped our farmers and ranchers earn greater income and to sell record amounts of food and fiber abroad.

In a new term, we'll continue policies that are pro-growth, pro- jobs and pro-farmer.

We'll keep working to open new markets to American grain, beef and cotton and corn. We'll enforce trade laws to make sure other countries play by the rules. We'll expand conservation programs to help farmers and to protect our soil and water and wildlife. We will stand behind family farmers by keeping taxes low and ensuring the federal death tax is repealed permanently.

BUSH: And when confirmed by the Senate, Mike Johanns will lead a department of 113,000 dedicated public servants, and be a champion of the farmers and ranchers who feed America and the world beyond.

I am grateful to Mike and to Stephanie, his wife, for their willingness to come to Washington. I look forward to welcoming Mike to my Cabinet.

Congratulations. I appreciate you. Thank you very much.

JOHANNS: Thank you, Mr. President. It is an honor and it is a privilege for me to be nominated to serve in your Cabinet. I have enormous respect for you and for the work that you are doing for our great country.

I would also like to recognize the presence of my wife Stephanie. We've shared our lives together, and today is even more special for me because Steph is here.

I would also like to acknowledge our children, Justin and Michaela, and our daughter-in-law Kim. They are all working in Nebraska so they could not be with us today.

We also have two grandchildren that we treasure, Burkett and Noelle, who are also back in our state.

JOHANNS: If you visit my Web site for the governor's office, you'll find my bio there. Paraphrasing, it starts: "Mike Johanns grew up on a dairy farm near Osage, Iowa." As can you tell, I'm very, very proud of my ag background. I do feel that those years on that dairy farm did much to define who I am as a person.

In my campaign for governor, as a matter of fact, we ran a radio ad, and it said: After growing up on a dairy farm, the son of John and Adeline Johanns, everything in life has seemed easy after that.

As governor of Nebraska, I have devoted a substantial amount of my time promoting rural economic development and ag issues, not only in our state, but across our country and overseas.


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