"I am running for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture to help create a prosperous future for our state," said Thicke on his website. "Iowa needs new solutions to the challenges of rising energy costs, polluted air and water, climate change, and predatory corporate monopolies."
His vision for new solutions include the installation of farmer-owned, mid-size wind turbines on farms across Iowa to power farms the rest of Iowa. He also promotes putting more biofuel profits toward new technologies that will allow farmers to produce biofuels on the farm to power their equipment and sell the excess for consumer use.
Thicke's vision also includes supporting local food production, and working to reestablish the Iowa Food Policy Council.
He also looks to restore local control over Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and regulate them to keep dangerous pollutants out of the air and water. Wider use of perennial and cover crops are also part of his plan to prevent harmful river run-off.
A 1972 graduate of Winona State College in Minnesota, Francis holds the Master of Science degree in soil science from the University of Minnesota and the doctoral degree in agronomy and soil fertility from the University of Illinois.
Thicke has served as the National Program Leader for Soil Science for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington D.C. and has served in numerous public service positions, including the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission, the Iowa Food Policy Council, the USDA State Technical Committee, and the Organic Farming Research Foundation Board.
During his work, Thicke has been awarded the 2009 Spencer Award for Sustainable Agriculture, Steward of the Land Award, 2007 Sustainable Agriculture Achievement Award, Friend of Extension Award, and Outstanding Pasture Management Award.
Thicke and his wife, Susan, own and operate a 450-acre, 80-cow, grass based, organic dairy near Fairfield, Iowa. They process their milk on the farm into bottled milk, cheese and yogurt and market it locally.
Thicke will be facing Republican Bill Northey in the general election in November.
For more information, visit Francis Thicke's website at www.thickeforagriculture.com.