A childhood friend of U.S. Ag Secretary nominee Mike Johanns says Johanns exhibited signs of leadership even as a kid. Daniel Swann, a farmer from Osage, grew up just down the road from the Johanns farm. Swann describes Johanns as a “very honest individual, hard-working. He does what he says he’ll do.” Swann says Johanns milked cows as a kid, and Swann describes Johanns’ parents — John and Adeline Johanns — as “hard-working people.” Johanns went to a parochial school for a few years before transferring to the public schools in Osage. Swann says Johanns wound up being class president when he was a senior in high school. “He was always a good kid. He never got in trouble,” Swann says. “He was always a straight-shooter and what he said you could bank on.” Swann says he always thought Johanns would run for president, so it comes as no surprise to Swann that Johanns has been picked to be a cabinet secretary. “He’ll be a terrific person for agriculture,” Swann says. John and Adeline, Johanns’ parents, were democrats, according to Swann. “He saw the light,” Swann says. “He came from a democratic family…during the Kennedy years he was a big Kennedy supporter. But I guess he saw the light and switched to republican.” Swann saw Johanns last year at the reunion for the Osage High Class of 1968 — an event Johanns hosted at the governor’s mansion in Lincoln. Swann says there was a dinner, a breakfast, a tour of the statehouse in Lincoln as well as fireworks. “Just a very fine time,” Swann says. Johanns has a sister who lives in the Osage area and a nephew who is farming.
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