Senate confirms Northey for USDA post

By Erin Voegele | February 27, 2018

On Feb. 27, nearly six months after he was first nominated, the U.S. Senate confirmed Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey to serve as Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service at USDA.

 “I applaud Bill Northey’s patience over these many months, which demonstrates what a strong leader he will be at USDA,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “We thank everyone who worked on his confirmation. Bill will come aboard at a crucial time, as his knowledge and expertise will be immediately put to use as the new Farm Bill is formulated to address the needs of American farmers. In addition, his leadership will be key in the newly-constituted mission area, where the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Risk Management Agency will be providing an even better customer experience. I am excited to finally have Bill on board.”

Representatives of the biofuels industry have spoken out in support of Northey’s confirmation.

“We are pleased to see Bill Northey finally confirmed by the Senate,” said Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the RFS. “This is long overdue. Bill is eminently qualified to help our nation’s farmers, but unfortunately his nomination fell victim to political games. There is no better champion for farmers than Bill Northey. He is the right man for the job and will be an enormous asset to USDA Secretary Perdue.”

“We would also like to express our gratitude to Senators Grassley, Ernst, Stabenow, Klobuchar and other champions in Congress for their persistence to ensure the hold on Bill’s nomination was lifted,” Dinneen continued.

“In 30 years advocating for ethanol, I have met and worked with hundreds of state AG secretaries,” Dinneen said. “I can tell you without question or hyperbole that Bill has been the hardest working, most knowledgeable, and most committed to farmers of anyone I have ever known. He will now bring that passion and expertise to farmers all across the country. Congratulations to Bill and we look forward to working with him on behalf of rural America.”

“We are thrilled Mr. Northey is approved; he will be a fantastic addition to the USDA,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “Having served as the Secretary of Agriculture for Iowa, Mr. Northey has first-hand knowledge and experience regarding how the integration of biofuels into both domestic and international fuel markets has positively impacted the farming economy in America.”

“Bill Northey is eminently qualified for his post at the Agriculture Department,” said Donnell Rehagen, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board. “He will be an excellent representative of the agricultural economy and a true champion of biodiesel and renewable fuels. We look forward to working with Bill to defend and grow the job-creating Renewable Fuel Standard program.”