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Northey keeps listening

By Staff | Jan 1, 2010

Bill Northey, Iowa’s secretary of agriculture, has once again kept faith with his pledge to visit all 99 Iowa counties each year to meet with Iowans “to discuss the future of agriculture.”

The next election is just shy of 11 months hence, but Northey regards this commitment to stay in close touch with Hawkeye State residents to be a high priority at all times. Some officials undertake such visits only during campaigns. Northey began these listening trips soon after taking office and is on the road even when no rendezvous with the voters is imminent.

“Iowa agriculture is so big and diverse, these meetings are a chance for me to get out of Des Moines and see what issues farmers are facing across the state,” Northey said earlier this month. “I hope farmers and rural residents will come out and share issues, ideas and challenges that are facing Iowa agriculture.”

By visiting each county, Northey is able to gain important knowledge about how the needs of agriculture and related industries vary across the Hawkeye State. An appreciation for the complexity of the agricultural economy is vitally important for all state officials, but especially so for anyone who heads the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

Iowa’s secretary of agriculture plays an important role in helping Iowans evolve an agricultural strategy that can keep this state’s rural economy the envy of the world.

Northey’s expertise makes him a valuable advocate for the agricultural community. It is particularly impressive, however, that he chooses to keep in close contact with his constituents. This is a man whose insights into the future of agriculture are well worth pondering. He also is a leader who demonstrates by his actions that he cares what you think.

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