Roger Johnson (politician)

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For other politicians of this name, see Roger Johnson (disambiguation).
Roger Johnson
14th President of the National Farmers Union
In office
2009 – incumbent
Preceded by Tom Buis
5th North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner
In office
1996 – April 6, 2009
Preceded by Sarah Vogel
Succeeded by Doug Goehring
Personal details
Political party Democratic
Residence Turtle Lake, North Dakota

Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, is the immediate past North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner.[1] He is a member of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party. As of 2016, he is the most recent statewide elected Democrat to serve in the North Dakota state government.

Early Life, Education, and Early Career[edit]

Johnson grew up on a farm in Turtle Lake, North Dakota.[2] He earned a BA from North Dakota State University in 1975 and did graduate work for two years. He then started farming, while working as a farm credit counselor. In 1988 he was asked by Sarah Vogel, the Agriculture Commissioner at the time, to work for her and run the state’s Agricultural Mediation Program, which helped farmers resolve financial problems with creditors. He resigned in 1996, when he ran for North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner.

Political career[edit]

Johnson was first elected Agriculture Commissioner in 1996 and re-elected in 2000, 2004, and 2006. The election in 1996 was one of the closest in North Dakota history. Johnson earned 129,423 votes, while GOP candidate Dina Butcher earned 129,140 votes.[3] He ran against GOP candidate Doug Goehring in 2004, winning by a little over 1,800 votes. Goehring did not demand a recount.[4] Johnson faced a rematch against Republican Goehring in the 2006 election, winning by a wider margin than in 2004. He resigned Agriculture Commissioner in 2009 to become president of the National Farmers Union.[5]

He served as the president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) from 2007-2008. While president, Johnson helped craft the 2008 Farm Bill.[6]


Preceded by
Sarah Vogel
Agriculture Commissioner of North Dakota
Succeeded by
Doug Goehring