Trump nominates Nebraska, Iowa ag directors for posts at USDA

Source: By Omaha World Herald • Posted: Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The state agriculture directors from Nebraska and Iowa are headed to top jobs in the U.S. Agriculture Department.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue applauded the pick of Nebraska Director Greg Ibach to be undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs. Iowa Director Bill Northey was nominated for undersecretary for farm production and conservation. Both positions must be confirmed by the Senate.

Ibach was reported to be a finalist for the job in July.

“Every young farmer in Nebraska hopes someday that maybe he could do something bigger,” Ibach said then. “Of course it would be something interesting. But that’s no different than every farmer in this room.”

Ibach has been Nebraska’s ag director since 2005. He was appointed by then-Gov. Dave Heineman and reappointed by Gov. Pete Ricketts. Northey has been Iowa’s ag director since 2006.

The picks would add two Midwesterners to the department. That could ease concerns some in the Midwest had after President Donald Trump’s pick in January of Perdue, a Georgia politician, to lead the USDA.