March 6, 2009

Ag commissioner seeks national Farmers Union post

Ag commissioner seeks national Farmers Union post
North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson dropped a bombshell Tuesday when he announced his candidacy for the presidency of the National Farmers Union.
Johnson, who recently won his fourth term as the state’s highest ag official, called a news conference Tuesday morning in Bismarck to make his announcement.
“I am announcing today taht I am a candidate for the presidency of the National Farmers Union,” Johnson told reporters. “If elected, I will resign as North Dakota agriculture commissioner.”
Tom Buis, the current president, announced his resignation Feb. 25. Since that time, Johnson has been urged to seek out the position. The election will take place Tuesday during the national Farmers Union convention in Washington, D.C.
Johnson, who has led the nation’s agriculture commissioners as their president, said his announcement wasn’t a decision he made lightly. The Turtle Lake native said he would be perfectly happy to remain in his office working with the dedicated staff he has for the benefit of North Dakota’s 30,000 family farmers and ranchers.
“Family farming and agriculture have always been my passion,” Johnson said. “As agriculture commissioner, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with producers of the finest quality food, fiber and fuel, and that they are dedicated to feeding and fueling our nation and the world. I have also had the opportunity to work for North Dakota producers on the national level, as president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. The position I am seeking affords me an opportunity to continue serving American agriculture on a national basis.”

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