President Bush has nominated Nebraska Gov. Mike Johanns as Secretary of Agriculture. The conservative Republican began his career as an attorney after growing up on an Iowa dairy farm. If confirmed by the Senate as expected, Johanns, 54, would replace Ann Veneman as head of an agency of more than 100,000 employees who oversee farm, forest and food stamp programs worth some $75 billion a year.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, issued a statement stressing the experience of Johanns, who has led agricultural trade missions to Brazil, Chile, China, Japan and several other countries.

"During this process I have said that the next agriculture secretary must have a strong background in international trade," said Grassley.

"As governor, he has demonstrated that he understands the importance of trade to the future of a prosperous agriculture community."