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Iowa Secretary of Agriculture visits Cherokee

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

(Photo)
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey, is pictured talking to area residents at the Cherokee Community Center on Wednesday as part of his tour of Iowa's 99 counties. Photo by Mike Leckband
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey, visited Cherokee on Dec. 17th. Northey spoke to members of the Cherokee County Farm Bureau, along with area farmers at the Cherokee Community Center to wrap-up his visits with Iowans in each of the state's 99 counties again this year.

Northey was available to discuss the status of agriculture in the state and answer questions with residents.

"Traveling the state these past two years has allowed me to see first-hand all that is going on in agriculture in our state, and meet with the Iowans that are making it happen," Northey said. "By visiting each county I'm able to hear from farmers and non-farmers alike about the issues facing agriculture and the opportunities available through this industry."

The general theme to Northey's visit was that of education. He described to the audience what the Department of Agriculture does - half conservation and half regulatory commission.

Northey talked about how Iowa is number two in the nation in Ag production behind California.

"We don't talk about Ag enough in this state," said Northey. "Twenty-five percent of our economy is in Ag. We got a lot of stuff going on that we should be talking about."

Northey cited many examples of how Iowa is on the leading frontier in many areas of Ag, Including egg production, beef, pork, corn, soybeans and poultry. Northey even stated that Iowa has one of the best breeding farms for racing dogs in the nation.

As for future technology, Northey talked about Iowa's potential in wind energy. "Currently Iowa uses 5 percent of wind energy, next year it will be at 10 percent" said Northey.

Northey, a corn and soybean farmer from Spirit Lake, is serving his first term as Secretary of Agriculture. His priorities as Secretary of Agriculture are the opportunities in renewable energy, conservation and stewardship, and telling the story of Iowa agriculture.



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