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Northey lists conservation as key priority if confirmed

Photo courtesy of Clean Water Iowa

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey lists priorities he’d like to see in the upcoming farm bill.

During his nomination hearing for USDA Farm Production and Conservation Under Secretary, many senators asked Northey his priorities in the farm bill. A major area he prioritized was conservation.

“(We need) to make sure our programs are flexible, funded, and can work with many other partners from the states, certainly to farmers and others who can bring resources to conservation and water quality,” Northey said.

Senators also questioned Northey on how he would help fix the Conservation Reserve Program.

“There has been a lot of conversations about the acreage cap going into the next farm bill. I look to being part of those conversations if confirmed.

He says he needs to have conservation with Secretary Sonny Perdue and see what the administration’s support is.

“CRP is an important program and meets the many natural resource needs that are out there,” Northey said.

There is no word yet on when the Senate Ag Committee will vote on Northey. Chairman Pat Roberts says “as quickly as possible”.