Confirmation of Northey for USDA Applauded

Dan Industry News Release

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue applauded the Senate’s long-awaited confirmation of Bill Northey to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Northey will serve as Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service (FFAS)*.



Perdue issued the following statement:

“I applaud Bill Northey’s patience over these many months, which demonstrates what a strong leader he will be at USDA. We thank everyone who worked on his confirmation. Bill will come aboard at a crucial time, as his knowledge and expertise will be immediately put to use as the new Farm Bill is formulated to address the needs of American farmers. In addition, his leadership will be key in the newly-constituted mission area, where the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Risk Management Agency will be providing an even better customer experience. I am excited to finally have Bill on board.”

*NOTE: As part of a reorganization of USDA, Secretary Perdue has created, the President appointed, and the Senate confirmed a new Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, as directed by the 2014 Farm Bill. The creation of the new mission area prompted the realignment of several agencies under a newly-named Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC), the position for which Northey is intended. FPAC will encompass the USDA’s domestic-facing agencies: the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Risk Management Agency.


American Farm Bureau Federation:

The following may be attributed to Zippy Duvall, president, American Farm Bureau Federation:

“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.

“Under Secretary Northey knows farmers’ and ranchers’ heartfelt commitment to protecting our natural resources. He’s walked the same soil we have as a fourth-generation farmer from Iowa, and has a proven track record as a strong advocate for agriculture in his role as agriculture secretary in his home state. Under his leadership, Iowa has become a national leader in conservation, and we know Under Secretary Northey will bring the same innovation and farm-grown work ethic to helping farmers across the country fulfill our commitment to conservation.

“We are also confident he will be a key member of Secretary Perdue’s team working with the House and Senate Agriculture committees on the next farm bill, and have no doubt he is ready to hit the ground running in his new role.”


National Association of Conservation Districts:

the U.S. Senate confirmed Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey through a voice vote to serve as the Under Secretary for the Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service (FFAS) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In September of 2017, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD), along with the National Conservation Partnership, sent a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., in support of the swift confirmation of Northey.

“Today’s vote was long overdue,” NACD President Brent Van Dyke said. “Throughout his career, Mr. Northey has proven his commitment to agriculture and conservation by working alongside landowners to implement the conservation programs most vital to our nation’s producers. His extensive leadership experience in conservation and production agriculture has more than prepared him to lead this new mission area for the USDA.”

Northey is a fourth-generation farmer and former commissioner for the Dickinson County Soil and Water Conservation District. He has managed and directed natural resource management programs, set conservation priorities, and coordinated conservation efforts with other local units of government, state agencies and agricultural organizations.

“As a fellow Iowan, I could not be more excited to see Northey serve in this new role,” NACD President-elect Tim Palmer said. “As Secretary of Agriculture for more than a decade, Northey has been a champion for this industry and has dedicated himself to listening to and addressing the needs of producers across the state when it comes to natural resource conservation and soil and water concerns. Iowa is a better place thanks to his service, and I’m confident the nation will thrive under his leadership.”


National Cotton Council

The National Cotton Council conveyed its support of the Senate confirmation of Bill Northey to serve as USDA Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service.

Under USDA’s reorganization, Northey will manage the mission area that encompasses the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Risk Management Agency.

“Under Secretary Northey is a champion of agricultural stewardship, which the U.S. cotton industry thoroughly supports,” NCC Chairman Ron Craft said. “The U.S. cotton industry looks forward to working with him to implement the recently enacted seed cotton provisions within the current farm bill.  As the Under Secretary for three key producer-facing agencies at USDA, he will bring key leadership to the department that will directly impact cotton producers across the Cotton Belt.”

Craft, a Plains, Texas ginner, said Northey has a proven track record having served Iowa’s farmers for more than a decade as that state’s Secretary of Agriculture.

“His leadership should prove invaluable in the implementation of the next farm bill,” Craft said.

As the unifying force of the U.S. cotton industry, the Memphis-based National Cotton Council has a mission of ensuring the ability of all industry segments to compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and U.S.-manufactured product markets at home and abroad.


Renewable Fuels Association

After a four-month hold, the nomination of Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey to be U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation was lifted. Once a vote was allowed to occur, he was swiftly confirmed by a voice vote. Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen issued the following statement:

“We are pleased to see Bill Northey finally confirmed by the Senate. This is long overdue. Bill is eminently qualified to help our nation’s farmers, but unfortunately his nomination fell victim to political games. There is no better champion for farmers than Bill Northey. He is the right man for the job and will be an enormous asset to USDA Secretary Perdue.

“We would also like to express our gratitude to Senators Grassley, Ernst, Stabenow, Klobuchar and other champions in Congress for their persistence to ensure the hold on Bill’s nomination was lifted.

“In 30 years advocating for ethanol, I have met and worked with hundreds of state ag secretaries. I can tell you without question or hyperbole that Bill has been the hardest working, most knowledgeable, and most committed to farmers of anyone I have ever known. He will now bring that passion and expertise to farmers all across the country. Congratulations to Bill and we look forward to working with him on behalf of rural America.”