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Northey addresses 40 at Ag Show

By Staff | Dec 5, 2012

Bill Northey, Iowa's ag secretary, offered 40 listeners Wednesday afternoon the ag opportnities that are still ahead for Iowa. In 2011, Iowa tallied $30 billion in ag products sold off farms, Northey said, which does not include products from processing plants.

Iowa is a phenomenal place.

If you don’t believe that, ask Bill Northey, Iowa’s secretary of agriculture.

Northey was the fourth and final speaker Wednesday at the Farm News Ag Show.

With 40 people looking on, he touted the state’s ability to produce more corn, pigs and cattle “than 3 million people can use.”

He touted the rich soil and land that is conducive to growing enough food, even in the 1850s to ship products to Chicago.

Northey said Iowa’s productivity was, in part, why Chicago grew with new facilities to process Iowa’s ag products.

He said there continues to be more ag opportunities for Iowa as demand for corn, soybeans and swine grows in Asian markets.

“We sometimes don’t sense how important Iowa is to folks in other countries,” Northey said.

China is the biggest buyer of U.S. soybeans.

Japan is the biggest buyer of U.S. pork and corn.

Korea is growing customer of U.S. and Iowa ag products.

He inferred that if Iowa couldn’t produce nthe amount of grains and meat it does, that impact would be felt around the world.

Northey’s talk was the last of the scheduled speakers Wednesday as the first day of the two-day Ag Show closes.

The show reopens Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. A free pancake breakfast will be fed Thursday to the first 525 show visitors.

The show is at the Career Education Building on the Iowa Central Community College Campus in Fort Dodge.

Thursday’s speakers include:

Elwynn Taylor, Iowa State University agriculture meteorologist, will speak from 8 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. and will discuss “Weather & Crop Outlook for 2013 and Beyond.” Taylor’s appearance is sponsored by Brokaw Supply of Fort Dodge.

Richard Cruse, professor and director of the Iowa Water Center, Iowa State University, will speak from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and will discuss “Tillage, Fertilizer Placement, and Managing for Dry Conditions.” Cruse’s appearance is sponsored by Blue Ribbon Pelham Waters of Fort Dodge.

Myron Friesen, Farm Financial Strategies financial representative, will speak from noon until 1:30 p.m. and will discuss “Farm Legacy: Adding Clarity in Uncertain Times.”

Erika Eckley, staff attorney at the Iowa State Center for Agriculture Law and Taxation, and will speak from 1:45 p.m. until 3 p.m. and will discuss “Legal and Tax Issues Affecting Iowa’s Agricultural Sector.”

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