There's fast and furious reaction in the Dakotas - especially from ag leaders in the opposition party - to the resignation of the U.S. Ag Secretary Mike Johanns, a Republican who is reportedly returning to Nebraska to run for the Senate.
"The secretary made no mention of his intention to resign when we met with him on Monday (Sept. 17)…the timing of his resignation is trouble. He is the chief advocate for farmers and ranchers … and now he is resigning in the midst of writing the farm bill. - Richard Schlosser, vice-president, North Dakota Farmers Union president, and an Edegeley, N.D., farmer.
"I am a big believer in the adage that you always finish what you start. It is completely irresponsible for the Secretary of Agriculture to leave his post right in the middle of negotiations in Congress over the next Farm Bill." - Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D.
"I was scheduled to meet with Secretary Johanns this afternoon (Sept. 20, the day he resigned), but his office called to cancel late yesterday. Now that I know why, I can only say I am disappointed that the Secretary is irresponsibly walking away with the farm bill heating up. America's farmers and ranchers didn't even get two weeks notice." – Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D.