Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has been elected to serve as president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) for the 2011/12 year. The election took place at the organization's recent annual meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah.
As president, Northey will host NASDA members at their annual meeting in Des Moines September 12-17, 2012. The last Iowan to serve as NASDA president was Secretary Robert Lounsberry in 1981-82.
"I'm excited for this opportunity and appreciate the support of NASDA members," Northey says. "As negotiations pick up on the next farm bill and discussions continue on a variety of other important public policy areas, I am committed to providing a unified voice for the organization and working with NASDA members to highlight the important role of state departments of agriculture."
NASDA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing the commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the state departments of agriculture in all 50 states and four U.S. territories. As regulators of significant aspects of our nation's agriculture industry, NASDA members are actively involved in ensuring the safety of an abundant food supply, protection of animal and plant health, stewardship of our environment, and promoting the vitality of our rural communities.
NASDA is nonpartisan, representing state ag departments of all 50 states
Other changes in organization's leadership include the selection of Commissioner Steve Troxler of North Carolina as NASDA First Vice President, Commissioner Scott Soares of Massachusetts to serve as Second Vice president, and Chairman Russell Kokubun of Hawaii as Secretary-Treasurer.
Other members elected to NASDA's Board of Directors include the presidents of the four NASDA regions: Secretary Chuck Ross of Vermont representing the Northeastern region (NEASDA); Commissioner Hugh Weathers of South Carolina from the Southern region (SASDA); Director Joe Kelsay of Indiana representing the Midwestern region (MASDA); and Director Jason Fearneyhough of Wyoming representing the Western region (WASDA).
Ed Kee, the Delaware Secretary of Agriculture, will serve as the at-large representative on the board and Utah Commissioner of Agriculture Leonard Blackham remains on the board as immediate past president.
Northey, a corn and soybean farmer from Spirit Lake, is serving his second term as Secretary of Agriculture. His priorities as Secretary of Agriculture are promoting the use of science and new technologies to better care for our air, soil and water, and reaching out to tell the story of Iowa agriculture.
Northey: Iowans can participate in fall photo contest on Facebook
In other news, Iowa ag secretary Bill Northey last week announced the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is kicking off its first "Facebook Fall Fun Photo Contest." Iowans are invited to submit photos that showcase the beauty of the harvest season through the department's Facebook page, which can be accessed through the department's website www.iowaagriculture.gov.
"Iowa is a beautiful state, especially during harvest," notes Northey. "I'd love to see what photos fellow Iowans capture and share. This contest is open to everyone regardless of age or photography experience, so hopefully we'll be able to seen a number of tremendous photos."
The contest starts immediately and will run through October 31. The photos will be judged on the number of "likes" each photo receives and the winner will get an award certificate from Secretary Northey, naming them the first winner of what the ag department hopes to be many more photo contests.