For the past decade, Bill Northey has served admirably as Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture, and Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) members are extremely pleased he was tapped for a new role with the USDA leading the newly-created office of Farm Production and Conservation.
“Secretary Northey’s years of work improving water quality and conservation makes him extremely qualified to lead this new office within the USDA. It’s important to have someone who understands production agriculture in this important role, and Northey’s experience as a farmer, success leading the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), and strong work ethic makes him a perfect fit for the position,” says IFBF President Craig Hill.
Under the leadership of Sec. Northey, Iowa’s agricultural economy has grown and diversified, and Iowa continues to be recognized as a national leader in conservation. Northey, who is also chairman of the U.S. Hypoxia Task Force, spearheaded the first-in-the-nation, science-based nutrient reduction plan known today as the Water Quality Initiative (WQI). The WQI provides a road map to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus by 45 percent in Iowa waters. Established during the 2013 legislative session, the WQI has already helped farmers add record numbers of conservation practices to Iowa farms; over 4,800 farmers, with participants in each of Iowa’s 99 counties, have put in nutrient reduction practices on more than 455,000 acres.
Before his leadership role as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Northey was also active in Iowa Farm Bureau. He served leadership roles in Farm Bureau offices at the county and state level, including serving as president, vice president and committee chairman of the Dickinson County Farm Bureau.