The World Food Prize Foundation

World Food Prize to Dedicate Portrait to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns


In recognition of Hon. Mike Johanns agricultural leadership, the World Food Prize has commissioned a portrait to be featured in the Hall of Laureates Iowa Gallery. Secretary Johanns was the fifth Iowan to serve as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.  His portrait by the Iowa artist Larassa Kabel will hang in the Iowa Gallery with those of the other four Iowans who have held that office: “Tama Jim” Wilson, E.T. Meredith, Henry C. Wallace and Henry A. Wallace. The portrait of the Hon. Tom Vilsack, the sixth Iowan to serve as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, is currently being completed.

WHEN: Tuesday, March 7 – 4:00 p.m.

WHERE:  The World Food Prize Hall of Laureates100 Locust Street, Des Moines, Iowa, in the Iowa Gallery, Second Floor. (The Iowa Gallery features artwork by Iowa artists, all depicting Iowa’s greatest humanitarian and agricultural moments in history and honors Iowans who have served as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.)

WHAT: Portrait unveiling with Secretary Johanns, Secretary Northey and Ambassador Quinn

BACKGROUND: A native of Iowa, the Hon. Mike Johanns’ life is rooted in agriculture, starting with his childhood growing up and working on his family’s dairy farm in Osage in Mitchell County. He was 40 miles west of Norman Borlaug’s boyhood home near Cresco.

Like Dr. Borlaug, Secretary Johanns attended college in Minnesota, and then received a law degree at Creighton University in Omaha. His distinguished political career centered in Nebraska, where he served as Mayor of Lincoln, the 38th Governor of Nebraska, and from 2005-2007 U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. In 2008, he was elected as U.S. Senator from Nebraska, serving until his retirement in 2015. He and his wife Stephanie reside in Lincoln.

DETAILS:  Please arrive between 3:40 p.m. and 3:55 p.m. and use the East Riverwalk Entrance. On site, please contact Nicole Barreca with any questions, at 563-271-2995.

ABOUT THE WORLD FOOD PRIZE:  The World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. The Prize was founded in 1986 by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, the World Food Prize has honored 45 outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions throughout the world. The World Food Prize annually hosts the Borlaug Dialogue international symposium and a variety of youth education programs to help further the discussion on cutting-edge global food security issues and inspire the next generation to end hunger. Press credentials for covering the October World Food Prize Week of events can be requested at

Press Contact: 
Nicole Barreca, Director of Communications and Events
+1.515.245.3735 (direct), +1.563.271.2995 (cell), or


© 2023 The World Food Prize Foundation. All Rights Reserved.