While many of the state’s leaders are crowing over income tax reforms they’ll propose in the legislative session that will open next week, Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig says lower taxes would certainly benefit farmers, but that’s far from his only priority.
Naig says, “We’re also looking at how can we continue to advance and strengthen renewable fuels, particularly around ethanol and biodiesel but really, all forms of renewable energy in Iowa.”
The state ag department is also working on efforts to expand agricultural markets and to protect the mainstay markets that are driving the state’s economy. “Whether that be expanding small and mid-sized meat processing or doing more to connect local and regional foods to consumers,” Naig says. “Those are positives. Those are things we get to look at to expand our marketplace.”
Naig says much of the heavy lifting has been done on water quality and the state’s initiative, but they will continue to build on water and soil conservation efforts and rewarding producers for climate-smart practices.
“We’re always going to be focused as we go into the session on looking at how do we further strengthen our efforts around foreign animal disease prevention and preparedness,” Naig says. “That includes things like making sure we have a world-class vet diagnostic lab at Iowa State University.”
The 2022 Iowa legislative session opens Monday.
(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)