Bill Northey confirmed to USDA under secretary position

The United States Senate on February 27 confirmed Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey as under secretary of agriculture for farm production and conservation.

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Bill Northey | Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Bill Northey | Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

The United States Senate on February 27 confirmed Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey as under secretary of agriculture for farm production and conservation.

The confirmation brings Northey’s long wait to an end, as President Donald Trump announced his nomination on September 2, 1917. Northey was nominated for the position on the same day that Greg Ibach, then the director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, was nominated for the position of under secretary of agriculture for marketing and regulatory programs.

Both of those nominations were given approval by the Senate agriculture committee in October, and Ibach was confirmed later that month.

However, Northey was more of a controversial figure, as his nomination was delayed, largely by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who disagreed with Northey on ethanol-related issues. Cruz ran unsuccessfully against Trump for the presidency.

Reactions to confirmation

“It is a tremendous honor for me to be confirmed to serve as an under secretary of agriculture,” Northey said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing to work closely with them in this new role.

“While this process has taken longer than expected, I remain as excited as ever to work with (Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue) and the staff at USDA to support of our nation’s farmers and ranchers.”

Northey has been serving in his third term as Iowa’s secretary of agriculture. He has held multiple leadership roles in the agriculture industry, including a stint as president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and a term as president of the National Corn Growers Association from 1995 to 1996. He also served on the Iowa U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency State Committee and as a Dickinson County Soil and Water Conservation District commissioner.

“With the confirmation today of Bill Northey as USDA under secretary of farm production and conservation, America’s farmers and ranchers have another ally in our work to ensure the sustainability of the agriculture industry for our families, for consumers and for generations to come,” Zippy Duvall, president of American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) said in a statement.

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