Bill Northey

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Bill Northey
Bill Northey by Gage Skidmore.jpg
4th Iowa Secretary of Agriculture
Assumed office
January 2, 2007
Governor Chet Culver
Terry Branstad
Kim Reynolds
Preceded by Patty Judge
Personal details
Born (1959-05-27) May 27, 1959 (age 58)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Cindy
Children 3
Residence Spirit Lake, Iowa, U.S.
Alma mater

Iowa State University

Southwest Minnesota State University

William Howard "Bill" Northey (born May 27, 1959)[1] is an American politician from the state of Iowa. A member of the Republican Party, he is the current Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. He was first elected on November 7, 2006, and sworn in on January 2, 2007. As Secretary of Agriculture he leads the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. In September 2017, Northey was nominated by President Donald Trump to become Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation in the United States Department of Agriculture.[2]

Education and family[edit]

He graduated from Iowa State University with an undergraduate degree in agricultural business in 1981 and was a member of the FarmHouse Fraternity, serving as its president during his senior year. Northey received a Master in Business Administration degree from Southwest Minnesota State University in 2004.[3]

Northey and his wife, Cindy, have three daughters.

Career in agriculture[edit]

Northey has been active in agriculture groups at the county, state, and national levels. From 1995-96, Northey served as president of the National Corn Growers Association and was chairman of the group in 1996-97.[4] He also has led a number of committees for the Corn Growers. Northey was named a "Friend of Agriculture" by the Iowa Farm Bureau Political Action Committee in 2006 and has served in a number of Farm Bureau offices at the county and state level, including serving as president, vice president, and committee chairman of the Dickinson County Farm Bureau.[5]

Northey has also served on the Iowa USDA Farm Service Agency State Committee, was a Dickinson County Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioner, and was a board member of Ag Ventures Alliance.

Northey was co-founder and president of Innovative Growers, LLC, which is an organization hatched from ISU Extension Leadership. Innovative Growers is a farmer-owned and farmer-managed group designed to capitalize on demand for the production of specialty grain products. On his farm, Northey employs the farming practices of reduced tillage, GPS, grid soil sampling and identity preserved production. He raises crops of corn and soybeans.[4]

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture[edit]

Northey ran for Secretary of Agriculture on a platform of expanding opportunities in renewable energy, promoting conservation and stewardship, and telling the story of Iowa agriculture. He ran against Democrat Denise O'Brien. He won the election 50% to 48%.[6] In 2010, he was reelected by a margin of 60% to 35% against Democrat Francis Thicke.

Electoral history[edit]

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Republican Primary Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Northey 32,911 46.75
Republican Mark Leonard 28,315 40.22
Republican Karey Claghorn 9,089 12.91
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Northey 523,539 50.23
Democratic Denise O'Brien 495,873 47.57
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Northey (inc.) 674,572 59.52
Democratic Francis Thicke 398,428 35.15
Write-ins Write-ins 849 0.07
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Northey (inc.) 675,781 59.17
Democratic Sherrie Taha 370,209 32.41
New Independent Levi Benning 39,349 3.45
Write-ins Write-ins 891 0.08


  1. ^ "Our Campaigns - Candidate - William "Bill" Northey". Retrieved 22 September 2017. 
  2. ^ Ta, Linh (September 2, 2017). "Trump nominates Bill Northey for key USDA position". Des Moines Register. Retrieved 22 September 2017. 
  3. ^ "Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey Tapped for USDA Spot". U.S. News & World Report. Associated Press. September 2, 2017. Retrieved 22 September 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Patane, Matthew (September 2, 2017). "Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey officially nominated to join USDA". The Gazette. Retrieved 22 September 2017. 
  5. ^ "Meet the Candidate, Secretary of Agriculture: Bill Northey". Citizen Times. October 28, 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2017. 
  6. ^ "Iowa 2006 Midterm Election". Retrieved 22 September 2017. 

External links[edit]