Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has been elected to serve as vice president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. He was elected during the organization's recent annual meeting in Dover, Del. This position places Northey on track to serve as the organization's president starting next fall and to host the leaders of the state departments of agriculture in Iowa in 2012 if he is re-elected to a second term.
"NASDA gives the state departments of agriculture a unified voice on national agricultural issues and provides an important platform for public policy discussions," says Northey. "I'm excited about the opportunity and look forward to continuing to work with the board and all NASDA members on issues important to agriculture in Iowa and across the nation."
Iowa has a secretary of agriculture, other states use different titles
NASDA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association that represents the commissioners, secretaries and directors of the state departments of agriculture in all 50 states and four U.S. territories. While Iowa's agriculture chief is officially known as the state's "secretary of agriculture," in some of the other states in the U.S. the official title of the agriculture chief is "director of agriculture" or "commissioner of agriculture."
"As regulators of significant aspects of our nation's agriculture industry, the 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 rural communities," says Northey.
Other changes in organization's leadership include the selection of Utah Commissioner of Agriculture Leonard Blackham as NASDA president, Oklahoma Commissioner Terry Peach to serve as second vice president, and New Jersey secretary of agriculture Doug Fisher as secretary-treasurer.
Other members elected to NASDA's board of directors include the presidents of the four NASDA regions: Vermont agriculture secretary Roger Allbee representing the northeast region; North Carolina agriculture commissioner Steve Troxler from the southern region; Missouri agriculture director Jon Hagler representing the Midwest region; and Colorado agriculture commissioner John Stulp representing the western region. U.S. Virgin Islands ag commissioner Louis Petersen will serve as the at-large representative and Delaware ag secretary Ed Kee remains on the board as immediate past president.
Northey, a corn and soybean farmer from Spirit Lake in northwest Iowa, is serving his first term as Secretary of Agriculture. His priorities as Secretary of Agriculture are advancing the opportunities available through renewable energy, promoting conservation and stewardship, and telling the story of Iowa agriculture.