Gov. Kim Reynolds has named Iowa’s Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig as the state’s new agriculture secretary.
Reynolds made the announcement Thursday. Naig will replace Bill Northey, who was confirmed on Tuesday by the U.S. Senate to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services within the U.S. Agriculture Department.
Naig, who has been deputy agriculture secretary since 2013, will serve the remainder of Northey’s term, which runs through January.
Reynolds says Naig has the “experience, knowledge and staff connections necessary” for the post.
Naig’s statement follows here:
“I want to thank Governor Reynolds for giving me this opportunity. I am excited to work with the Governor and her administration to continue our efforts to support our state’s dynamic agriculture industry.
“I also want to congratulate Secretary Northey on his confirmation as Under Secretary of Agriculture at USDA. His confirmation is long overdue, but now that the Senate has acted he will be a tremendous advocate for U.S. agriculture in this new role.
“It has been an honor to serve as a partner with Secretary Northey to help lead the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship for the past four and a half years and I look forward to continuing to work on behalf of the people of Iowa.
“I have spent my entire career in agriculture and am inspired by the passion and commitment of the hard working men and women who keep us fed and fueled. I look forward to travelling the state as Secretary to meet with and hear from Iowans to better represent their interests and be responsive to their needs.
“As Secretary I am committed to building on the momentum that has been created on water quality and accelerating our adoption of conservation practices. With long-term funding now in place, we are positioned to build on the exciting progress that has already been made and scale-up our efforts to achieve the water quality goals we all share.
“We must also continue working to build markets for the crops and livestock we raise so well here, including promoting renewable fuels and expanding international trade.
“I look forward to hitting the ground running and working with the many diverse stakeholders that are so important to our state’s agriculture industry to support and strengthen all aspects of our ag economy.”
(story contribution from Associated Press)