First Democrat Announces Ag Secretary Candidacy

Tim Gannon is the first Democrat candidate to aim for the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture position.

He is a Jasper County farmer and worked for eight years in positions around USDA for former secretary of agriculture Tom Vilsack, particularly in the Risk Management Agency and in Rural Development.

Gannon says at the USDA he learned what worked and what didn't and wants to help apply that to Iowa.

Gannon says, "The state needs to make sure that we're doing everything we can to make sure that, not only the 80,000 who meet the definition of farmer today are successful, but that we're recruiting and training the next generation of farmers, and that we're doing all that we can create economic opportunities, many of them related to agriculture."

On other platform issues, Gannon says he will work to find new markets for Iowa's corn and beans, expand Iowa agriculture, support value-added products, improve soil health, and protect water quality.

Gannon says if he were to follow up Iowa Secretary Bill Northey, two similar issues would be prioritized, "Try and have some of the same emphasis on keeping foreign markets open and promoting and selling our products overseas. But I'd also, I think, push harder for the state to be more involved in the research at Iowa State and other places that can help boost on-farm profitability."