Former Farm Progress President Allan Johnson is the new Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development. Ag Secretary Mike Johanns made the announcement Tuesday.
Johnson will serve in a leadership role by assisting Under Secretary Tom Dorr in carrying out Rural Development's mission to support economic activity and improve the quality of life of rural residents.
Johnson has served as Director of Legislative and Public Affairs at USDA Rural Development since 2003. Prior to coming to USDA, he worked in the agricultural publishing and public affairs industries for over 30 years. He served as President of Farm Progress Companies, the leading farm publisher in the United States, which grew from seven publications to 39 during his tenure. It also produces the Farm Progress Show. After his retirement from Farm Progress Companies in 2000, Johnson worked as a consultant until his appointment to USDA Rural Development.
Named Ag Communicator of the Year by the National Agri-Marketing Association, Johnson has also been active with the National FFA organization and was recognized with the Honorary American Farmer Degree and Distinguished Service Citation.
Johnson has held numerous industry leadership positions including Chairman of the Farm Foundation Board of Trustees, President of the Equipment Manufacturer's Institute Suppliers Council, Chairman of the National FFA Sponsor's Board, President of the Agricultural Publishers Association and Grand President of the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity. He has been inducted into the fraternity's Epsilon Chapter Hall of Fame at North Dakota State University (NDSU) and the national organization's Brothers of the Century in 2004.
A graduate of NDSU, Johnson was recognized by the school with their "Master Alumni
Award" in 1998. He also served with the U.S. Army in Vietnam. Johnson owns his family's century farm near Almont, North Dakota and resides with his wife Sara and their two sons in St. Charles, Illinois.