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IDALS seeks additional funding for animal disease preparedness

Government funded agencies continue to submit budget proposals for the upcoming fiscal year. Below, we will discuss what the Iowa Department of Agriculture is requesting.

AUDIO: Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig this week presented a budget proposal for the Iowa Department of Agriculture to Governor Kim Reynolds and Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg. Secretary Naig requested a flat budget, with a couple exceptions.

“We asked for some additional dollars to support our animal industry’s bureau and the work they do on preventing, protecting and responding to a foreign animal disease,” Naig said. “We’re applying the lessons we learned back from the 2015 highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak. We know that we need to build our capacity, update our systems and bring some additional expertise to be able to work together with our livestock producers across the state,” Naig said.

Secretary Naig also requested for continued financial support of the Iowa Water Quality Initiative. This annual funding will be in addition to the long-term water quality funding passed by the Iowa Legislature last session.

“It will increase again next fiscal year because of the bill passed, Senate File 512, that gave us predictable, dedicated water quality funding. I’m asking for a flat appropriation with the caveat those additional dollars will ramp up because of Senate File 512,” Naig said.”

Lastly, Secretary Naig stressed the importance of renewed funding for the Iowa Renewable Fuel Infrastructure Program.

“This is a great program. Essentially, we provide cost-share for fuel retailers across the state to help them pay for pumps, tanks, hoses and all of the things they need to provide consumers choice- higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel – at the pump,” Naig said.