U.S. poultry and livestock producers have plenty of opportunities to export their products to countries that were once third-world countries, which is exactly why the nation needs better trade policies, U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., said. Johanns, who served as U.S. secretary of agriculture during part of the George W. Bush administration, joined five other former secretaries to discuss agriculture issues at Kansas State University on October 21.
"I know how important it is to agriculture to get this done. It's not the only thing that's going to make agriculture successful. If you think about it, 95 percent of the world's population doesn't live here. They live in another part of the world. I just got back from a trip to Africa, and in various parts of Africa we are seeing great success," said Johanns.
"One thing we see is that as incomes improve, and people have more disposable income, they want to improve the diet for their family. And oftentimes, that means protein. … It means the products that we raise here so well.
Johanns is currently a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and after previous stints as Nebraska's governor and as the agriculture secretary he has decided not to seek-re-election.
Johanns was joined at Kansas State University by fellow former U.S. agriculture secretaries John Block, Mike Espy, Dan Glickman, Ann Veneman and Ed Schafer.