When Iowans go to the polls next month, they have a chance to re-elect a superb secretary of agriculture. His credentials for that job convinced this newspaper when he first sought this office that he would be a truly exceptional leader. His outstanding performance over the last four years has shown that confidence was well-placed.
Bill Northey has a vast knowledge of the agricultural world in Iowa and across the nation. He also has learned firsthand from journeys abroad about the agricultural realities in other lands. He knows well that exports are important to the rural economy here in Iowa and has worked hard both to sell Iowa products and learn how the state can best compete in a rapidly changing world economy.
Northey is just about as steeped in Iowa farm life as would be humanly possible.
Much of his adult life has been spent as a corn and soybean farmer. As a fourth-generation Iowa farmer, Northey has the kind of appreciation of farm values that one only learns by living and loving the farm life.
Today, virtually every office seeker in Iowa touts the importance of ethanol and other biofuels to the state's economic resurgence. Northey, however, was one of those early visionaries who saw the potential long before it was fashionable to champion this cause. He was a strong advocate of ethanol during his leadership roles in the National Corn Growers Association and other advocacy groups. Impressively, before becoming secretary of agriculture, Northey served as president of both the NCGA and its Iowa affiliate.
Iowa's secretary of agriculture plays an important role in helping Iowans evolve an agricultural strategy that can keep the Hawkeye state's rural economy the envy of the world. Since taking office, Bill Northey has demonstrated that voters were wise to entrust him with that vital mission.
Northey also works hard to stay in touch with Iowans. Some politicians are rarely seen by their constituents except when an election is near. Northey takes a very different approach. He visits each county at least once annually and makes it a point to listen carefully to what voters have to say.
On Nov. 2, cast your vote for a visionary whose ideas are grounded in practical knowledge of the Iowa farm world. Keep Bill Northey on the job.