Northey: Trump Needs to Pick USDA Boss ASAP

President-elect Trump has named almost all of his cabinet members but hasn't yet announced his pick for U-S Secretary of Agriculture. Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey says he’s not sure why the process is taking so long or even what the president-elect is looking for in the position.

"It's important to get to it," Northey says. "It's one of the last handful of positions out there. I'm hopeful we'll see something soon but I don't have any particular insight into who that may be or when that may be." A few names on the alleged "short list" include former Iowa State Representative Annette Sweeney of Alden, Texas Ag Commissioner Susan Combs and former Texas A&M President Elsa Murano. Northey is a member of the Trump Ag Advisory Committee and says rural America helped elect Trump, so there is pressure for him to get the nomination right. 

"It's kind of a puzzle," Northey says. "You don't necessarily want people from the same state and you have a certain demographic that's already filled and you want a different demographic. So, besides getting somebody good for agriculture, there's a lot of other considerations." Because of those factors, Northey says it may make this decision even more difficult. Northey says time will be short because the new ag secretary will have to quickly assemble a team to run the U-S-D-A.

Northey says, "All of us are looking forward to that name because, besides the secretary, there's a lot of other positions under that to fill and make sure that department is running come January 20th like it needs to." The U-S Ag Secretary post has been held the past eight years by former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack. The website speculates the ag secretary pick may not be announced until the new year.

(story courtesy of Radio Iowa/WNAX)