Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey last week announced that Jay Johnson has been hired as the new Deputy Secretary for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Jay Johnson previously served as director of the USDA Packer and Stockyards Administration's Midwest Regional Office.
As deputy secretary Johnson will assist in management responsibilities for the state ag department, focused on the areas of personnel and budget. He will also support the department's efforts to continue to improve accessibility to Iowans and as a result will travel and represent the department at meetings in Des Moines and around the state.
"I'm excited to have Jay onboard and I know he will do a great job," Northey says. "He is a natural fit for this role and will provide important management expertise and leadership to the department as we continue our mission is to ensure consumer protection, support food safety and animal health, and promote the responsible use of our natural resources."
Johnson worked for USDA Packers & Stockyards Administration for 28 years
"I greatly appreciate secretary Northey giving me this opportunity and I look forward to working with him and all the employees at the department to promote Iowa agriculture and serve the people of Iowa," says Johnson.
Johnson has worked for USDA Packers and Stockyards Administration for the past 28 years. For the past 13 years he has been the director of the agency's Midwestern Regional Office that is based in Des Moines. That office is responsible for all USDA Packers and Stockyards functions in 12 states in the upper Midwest and all hog issues on a national basis. Before that he worked for 13 years at USDA in Washington, D.C in a variety of positions, but culminating in his final position as Director of the Packer and Poultry Division.
Johnson was raised in rural northern Illinois and graduated from Western Illinois University with a degree in Agricultural Business. He and his wife Cindy live in rural Warren County and have three children. They currently raise and show club lambs and show performance quarter horses.
Other IDALS news: Natural gas prices down, crude oil up this past week
In other news from the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, if you haven't seen it yet, the department now has a weekly fuel price report on its website. Here's the most recent report:
The West Texas Intermediate showed crude oil prices up again this past week, increasing $1.62 to $102.96 per barrel. Unleaded gasoline increased $.03 in Iowa to $3.14 and the mid-grade blend with 10% ethanol increased $.04 to $3.07 per gallon. The price of natural gas in Iowa dropped $.13 to $2.96 per gallon. A summary follows, the full report is attached:
Crude Oil Summary: The price of global crude oil went up this week with the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) $1.62 higher per barrel over last week, closing at $102.96. One year ago the WTI was $100.96 per barrel.
Brent crude oil also rose this week, finishing at $113.37 per barrel on Tuesday's close, up $5.83 from the previous week.
Motor Fuels: As of Tuesday, January 3, 2012 the price of regular unleaded gasoline averaged $3.14 across Iowa according to AAA. This is up $.03 as compared to last week. The national average on Tuesday was $3.29, up $.05 from last week's price. One year ago the Iowa average for unleaded gas was $3.04 and the national average was $3.07 per gallon.
Retail diesel fuel prices in Iowa were down $.02 on the Tuesday report with a statewide average of $3.74. This is $.08 per gallon lower than the national average of $3.82.
Wholesale ethanol prices were up $.02 from last week, closing at $2.24. The price of mid-grade blend in Iowa (10% ethanol) closed at $3.07 per gallon, up $.04 from last week's price.
Heating Fuels: This week propane held steady with a statewide average of $1.88 per gallon. Home heating oil dropped a penny compared to last week's report, ending with a statewide average of $3.31 per gallon. Natural Gas prices in Iowa dropped $.13 ending the week at $2.96 / MMbtu.
Tips for saving energy on the road or at home are available at www.energysavers.gov and at www.fueleconomy.gov. Weekly and monthly fuel reports are available on the department's website www.iowaagriculture.gov.