Former Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey became a new USDA Under Secretary Tuesday night. He was sworn in by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue at the Iowa Ag Leaders Dinner.
Northey is already headed over to Washington D.C. to start his new job.
After a nearly four month hold, he was sent off at the dinner by Perdue as well as USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, and nearly 600 other movers and shakers in Iowa agriculture.
Northey thanked many in the room reflecting on his 11 years serving Iowa.
Northey says he's ready to get working at his new role, but he'll be looking at input from the nation's agriculture.
"Lots of things to learn. Lots of questions to ask. And lots of things that I want to have conversations with many of you as well. When you come to Washington, and you have ideas for what's going on." Northey says, "You've heard the Secretary, this is his fourth time into Iowa. Every time he has come he has said, we want to hear, we want to hear what we can do better. We need to be able to understand what the things are that are impacting you personally."
Perdue says he's excited to finally have Northey at the USDA. They are transitioning Northey's position from Under Secretary of Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services to Farm Production and Conservation. He wants Northey in charge of the local farm programs at the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Risk Management Agency.
He says Northey is key to helping farmers, "My vision for USDA is to be the most efficient, the most effective, the most customer focused agency in the federal government. A lot of that will depend on Bill Northey's leadership as he leads these people almost in every county in the nation. To deliver that kind of excellent service for our farmers and ranchers."