Iowa Secretary of Agriculture

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The Iowa Secretary of Agriculture is an elected position in the United States state of Iowa. The current secretary is Republican Bill Northey.

The Secretary of Agriculture heads the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, which is responsible for managing land and helping farmers in the state.[1]


Ethanol plant under construction, Butler County, Iowa.
Harvesting corn during the record 2009 season in Jones County, Iowa.

Directly and indirectly, agriculture has always been a major component of Iowa's economy. However, the direct production and sale of raw agricultural products contributes only about 3.5% of Iowa's gross state product.[2] The indirect role of agriculture in Iowa's economy can be measured in multiple ways, but its total impact, including agriculture-affiliated business, has been measured at 16.4% in terms of value added and 24.3% in terms of total output. This is lower than the economic impact in Iowa of non-farm manufacturing, which accounts for 22.4% of total value added and 26.5% of total output.[3] Iowa's main agricultural outputs are hogs, corn, soybeans, oats, cattle, eggs, and dairy products. Iowa is the nation's largest producer of ethanol and corn. Major Iowa agricultural product processors include Cargill, Inc., Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Monsanto Company, Ajinomoto, Hy-Vee, Garst Seed Company, and Heartland Pork Enterprises.

List of Iowa Secretaries of Agriculture (since 1972)[edit]

# Name Image Took Office Left Office Party Notes
1 Robert H. Lounsberry (2).png Robert H. Lounsberry 1972 1987 Republican
2 Dale M. Cochran.png Dale Cochran 1987 1998 Democratic
3 Patty Judge.jpg Patty Judge 1998 January 2, 2007 Democratic First woman to hold the office
4 Bill Northey by Gage Skidmore.jpg Bill Northey January 2, 2007 present Republican


  1. ^ What Does The Department Do?. Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Accessed July 2, 2009.
  2. ^ Des Moines:Iowa Legislative Services Agency. 2007 Iowa Factbook. p. 59
  3. ^ "Multiple Measures of the Role of Agriculture in Iowa's Economy".