After almost six months in Washington D.C. as the nation’s Secretary of Agriculture, Iowa native Mike Johanns says he’s settling in to the job and gets along well with his new boss. Johanns says “The nice thing about the President, when I sit down with him on an issue, I don’t have to spend 15 minutes giving him a briefing. He knows the issues and he’s engaged and I see him a lot.” Johanns was sworn in as chief of the U-S-D-A on January 20th. Johanns says he and his wife, Stephanie, get the chance to socialize frequently with Mr. and Mrs. Bush. He says he sees the President and First Lady at functions, they’re very accessible and “he’s a great guy to work for,” making his job very enjoyable. Johanns is a native of Osage, Iowa, and grew up on a dairy farm there. He later moved to Nebraska where he served as the mayor of Lincoln from 1991 to ’98 and as governor from ’99 to 2005. Johanns says he and Stephanie are getting used to life in the nation’s capitol. They have a house and are keeping busy and even the dog seems happy. Professionally, he says, the adjustment has been smooth. Still, the 54-year-old Johanns says, he’s a Midwesterner at heart. Johanns says “The personal side was tougher. We’ve got deep roots back home and that piece of it was just a little bit more of a struggle for both of us.” Johanns began his political career as a Democrat when he served on the Lancaster County (Nebraska) Board in the early 1980s. In 1988, he switched to the Republican Party and was elected to the Lincoln City Council the next year.
You are here: / / Iowa native getting comfortable as Ag Secretary