Iowa’s Bill Northey Nominated as USDA Undersecretary

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On Saturday, President Donald Trump announced the nominations of individuals to several key posts, including his intent to nominate Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey to Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Northey is a fourth-generation farmer who grows corn and soybeans near Spirit Lake, Iowa. Throughout his career, he has been a leader in a variety of agricultural groups, including serving as president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association in 1991-92 and president and chairman of the National Corn Growers Association from 1995-97. In his three terms as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, he has promoted science- and technology-based solutions to better conserve soil, water and air, and helped to expand the state’s ethanol infrastructure.

In his new role as USDA Undersecretary of Farm Production and Conservation, Northey will oversee the Farm Service Agency, Risk Management Agency, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Senate confirmation is required before Northey can take office. A date for his confirmation hearing has not yet been announced.

“Bill Northey should be great for the seed industry,” says Jane DeMarchi, American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) vice president of government and regulatory affairs. “He knows our industry and has always looked for private sector solutions while Iowa Secretary of Ag.

“We are especially excited that he will be overseeing a combined Farm Service Agency and NRCS. With his knowledge he should be able to implement conservation programs that really work for farmers and the environment.”

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) also saw the nomination as a positive move by the Trump Administration.

“Bill Northey is a longtime friend of NCGA and a passionate advocate for farmers,” says Wesley Spurlock, NCGA president. “We congratulate him on this well-deserved appointment, and we urge the Senate to move quickly to confirm him.

“His roots in production agriculture run deep. He will give farmers and ranchers a senior-level voice on important issues such as risk management and conservation programs, especially as we craft the next farm bill.”

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