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USDA Nominees Ibach, Northey Have 'Boots-on-the-Ground' Experience
USAgNet - 10/06/2017

U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Thursday held a hearing to consider the nominations of Gregory Ibach, of Nebraska, to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs and William Northey, of Iowa, to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services.

"This Committee has been reviewing nominations expeditiously," said Roberts. "It is crucial to have leadership tending to these very important mission areas at the Department of Agriculture."

"Both Mr. Ibach and Mr. Northey have valuable 'boots-on-the-ground' experience. 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."

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue commended Greg Ibach and Bill Northey, two nominees for key posts at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), for their joint appearance before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. Trump nominated Ibach to serve as Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP) and selected Northey for Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC). The two await committee action and approval of the entire U.S. Senate.

The Under Secretary for MRP oversees three critical USDA agencies: the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; the Agricultural Marketing Service; and the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration. The Under Secretary for FPAC oversees three critical USDA agencies: the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Risk Management Agency. Perdue issued the following statement:

"These two nominees will bring experience and integrity to USDA the moment they walk in the door. 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."

Ibach, a lifelong rancher and farmer, has also been active in the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture since his appointment as NDA's director in 2005 serving as chair of the marketing and international trade committee, animal and plant health committee, and, most recently, as president. He earned his B.S. in Agriculture from the University of Nebraska with majors in Animal Science and Agricultural Economics.

Northey is a 4th generation farmer from Spirit Lake, Iowa, and is currently serving his third term as Iowa ag secretary. Northey is a past-president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and serves as co-chair of the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force. Northey served as president of the National Corn Growers Association from 1995 to 1996. He served on the Iowa U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency state committee and as a Dickinson County Soil and Water Conservation District commissioner. Northey graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Agricultural Business and received an M.B.A. from Southwest Minnesota State University. Northey and his wife Cindy have three grown daughters and five grandchildren.

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