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Bill Northey heads to Washington
September 15, 2017

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The White House has announced that President Donald Trump is nominating Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey to be US under secretary of agriculture for farm production and conservation. This is a new post created in May as part of a reorganization of the US Department of Agriculture. Northey brings to this important national role outstanding credentials.

Northey has a vast knowledge of the agricultural world in Iowa and across the nation. He also has learned firsthand from journeys abroad about the agricultural realities in other lands. He knows well that exports are important to the rural economy here in Iowa and has worked hard both to sell Iowa products and learn how the state can best compete in a rapidly changing world economy.

Northey is just about as steeped in farm life as would be humanly possible.

Much of his adult life has been spent as a corn and soybean farmer. As a fourth-generation Iowa farmer, Northey has the kind of appreciation of farm values that one only learns by living and loving the farm life.

Today it is commonplace to champion ethanol and other biofuels. Northey, however, was one of those early visionaries who saw the potential long before it was fashionable to back this cause. He's was a strong advocate of ethanol during his leadership roles in the National Corn Growers Association and other advocacy groups. Impressively, before becoming secretary of agriculture, Northey served as president of both the NCGA and its Iowa affiliate.

Iowa's secretary of agriculture plays an important role in helping Iowans evolve an agricultural strategy that can keep the Hawkeye state's rural economy the envy of the world. That experience will serve him well as he undertakes a broader national role.

Farm News strongly supports Northey's nomination for this important leadership role at the USDA. It would be hard to imagine anyone better qualified to help the Trump administration develop agricultural policies that will serve the nation well.

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