A Democrat from Des Moines who has worked as a teacher, an artist and a bus driver has decided to run for state agriculture secretary.
Sherrie Taha is currently a commissioner for the Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District, a post she was elected to in 2012.
“If you eat, if you drink water or if you breathe Iowa air, you have an investment at what is going on at the Department of Agriculture and that will be one of my biggest messages,” Taha says.
Taha, who has lived in urban areas of Iowa all her life, says it makes her “sad” every time she ventures into rural areas of the state.
“We’ve manipulated our environment 98 percent here,” she says, “and I’m sorry to say it hasn’t all been good.”
Republican Bill Northey was elected state ag secretary in 2006 and plans to seek reelection to a third term in 2014. Taha faults Northey and others for failing to adequately address water quality issues that she says are forcing Iowans to pay “literally millions of extra dollars” to clean drinking water.
“We can change that though,” Taha says. “We know the science, we know the strategies and we know everything we can do to turn our state around.”
Taha made her comments recently in Clear Lake at the North Iowa Democrats’ Wing Ding fundraiser.