North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson has announced that he will run for President of the National Farmers Union next week at the NFU National Convention. The post is open after current President Tom Buis stepped down to become CEO of Growth Energy. If elected, Johnson will resign as North Dakota ag commissioner.
"It was not a decision made lightly. I would be perfectly happy to remain in this office, working with a dedicated and outstanding staff – the best employees in the country – for the benefit of North Dakota’s 30,000 family farmers and ranchers," Johnson said. "The people of North Dakota have elected me four times as their agriculture commissioner, and it has been my honor and privilege to serve them."
Johnson has served as ag commissioner since 1996 and is also immediate past 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," Johnson said. "This is a critical time for American agriculture. Our country’s current and severe economic problems affect all sectors of the economy, including and perhaps especially farming and ranching. Yet, I believe that we will not only weather the crisis; we will emerge stronger than ever."
A Farmers Union spokesperson says no one other than Johnson has formally announced plans to seek the NFU presidency. The filing deadline is noon Sunday with the election next Tuesday.