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Northey, Ibach appear before Senate ag committee

Midwest ag leaders nominated for positions at USDA.

The nominations of Greg Ibach to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs and Bill Northey to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services was considered Oct. 5 in the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

“Both Mr. Ibach and Mr. Northey have valuable ‘boots-on-the-ground’ experience,” said Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas. “They are both farmers. They know what weighs on the minds of farmers and ranchers, the challenges they face on daily basis, and the focus and drive they put into their life’s work. And, significantly, they are both dedicated public servants who have led their home state’s agriculture departments.”

Ibach is from Nebraska and if his nomination is approved, he will lead USDA activities related to plant health, animal care, veterinary services, wildlife management, promotion of U.S. commodities, regulation of biotechnology and its labeling on food and organics programs.

Northey is from Iowa. If approved to be the Undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, Northey will oversee the commodity, producer lending, crop insurance, conservation, and disaster programs at USDA. The name of this position is expected to change to the Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation and include oversight of the Natural Resources Conservation Service. 

Ranking member Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, asked Northey to make “crop insurance stronger and more accessible to every farmer no matter where they are or what they grow.” She also urged him to prioritize conservation. 

“These two nominees will bring experience and integrity to USDA the moment they walk in the door,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. ‘Greg Ibach’s work as Nebraska’s Director of Agriculture has prepared him to address the needs of American agriculture, particularly regarding the cattle industry. Bill Northey, the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, will give us a fourth generation corn and soybean farmer who knows the issues facing producers across the nation. I look forward to their speedy passage through the committee and floor votes, and urge the Senate to act on other nominees awaiting approval as well.”

According to committee rules, a committee vote on the nominations must occur in a separate business meeting of the committee.

Source: Senate ag committee, USDA 

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