Iowa’s next state Agriculture Secretary is Bill Northey. Northey’s one of the few bright spots in Tuesday’s election for Iowa Republicans, who lost the governorship and control of both the Iowa House and Senate to Democrats. Northey says he’s ready to work across the partisan divide.
“Certainly any time that you’re elected, compromise is part of it,” Northey says. He says both political parties are committed to making progress in the “bio” industries — ethanol, biodiesel and making consumer products from agricultural commodities. “It has to be bipartisan from the start,” Northey says. “We just need to work on it in the right way and this is an opportunity to work across the aisle.”
Northey, a farmer from Spirit Lake, defeated Denise O’Brien, an organic farmer from Atlantic. O’Brien says she’ll remain active in the effort to promote Iowa-grown fruits and vegetables. She’ll also revive her Women, Food and Agriculture Network, a non-profit group she heads that was put on hold during her run for state ag secretary.