Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has appointed Merlyn Carlson as the deputy under secretary for USDA Natural Resources and Environment (NRE). Carlson will begin his new duties on June 13, 2005.

"Merlyn Carlson brings to the Bush administration a lifetime of experience in agriculture from family farm life to his role as a state director of agriculture," said Johanns. "His background in policymaking and public service will be a tremendous asset to USDA and our efforts to protect and enhance our nation's natural resources."

Merlyn Carlson was appointed director of agriculture for Nebraska in January 1999. In his role as director, Carlson served as an advocate for Nebraska agriculture, overseeing regulatory programs, promoting agriculture products in both domestic and international markets, and ensuring wise stewardship of natural resources.

NRE is one of seven USDA mission areas. The goal of NRE is to promote the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources on the nation's private lands and to sustain production of all the goods and services that the public demands of the National Forests.

Source: Government Release