Wallaces Farmer

Northey named CEO of Iowa ag groupNorthey named CEO of Iowa ag group

Bill Northey, former Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, was recently named CEO of the Agribusiness Association of Iowa.

Jennifer Carrico

April 4, 2022

2 Min Read
Former Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey
LATEST ROLE: Bill Northey, former Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and USDA Under Secretary of Farm Production and Conservation,, was recently named CEO of the Agribusiness Association of Iowa. Jennifer Carrico

Bill Northey is not a new name in Iowa agriculture. He’s been a leader in the state for years, and now he has a new position as CEO of the Agribusiness Association of Iowa.

As former Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and USDA Under Secretary of Farm Production and Conservation, Northey has been helping Iowa and U.S. farmers for many years. When this opportunity became available with the announcement of current CEO Joel Brinkmeyer’s retirement on May 1, Northey said he thought it could be a good fit.

“I’m looking forward to working with the team at Agribusiness Association of Iowa and all the members in Iowa. Many of the members are people who I have worked with for many years in my other roles,” Northey says. “I want to be able to use my connections in business and government to help everyone be able to communicate about what’s important for Iowa agriculture.”

Besides his previously mentioned roles, Northey also was involved with the Iowa Corn Growers, and he served as president of the National Corn Growers Association from 1995 to 1996.

Northey grew up on a farm in Dickinson County and says the farm is still being run by family. Up until his appointment with USDA, he tended to his farm on weekends — but now his sister and brother-in-law take care of the duties there.

Wealth of ag experience

“Bill’s passion for agriculture and extensive breadth of experience in Iowa agriculture are unparalleled. His interests in soil conservation and water quality will serve AAI and its membership well. His experience at the Iowa Statehouse as well as in Washington, D.C., will be invaluable as AAI addresses the challenges its members face. The AAI board of directors is delighted to have Bill on board,” said Kevin Drury, AAI board of directors chair.

While at AAI, Brinkmeyer helped form the Iowa Nutrient and Research Education Council to help practices in the agricultural industry help improve water quality. This is a longtime mission of Northey as well, and he says he looks forward to continuing with this group to ensure Iowa has good water quality, as well as those who are downstream from the state’s waterways.

The Agribusiness Association of Iowa was formed in 1994 and represents agriculture-based businesses dedicated to giving one uniform, science-based and commonsense approach to help Iowa’s agribusiness industry. Members include businesses who supply feed, seed, crop protection chemicals, grain, fertilizer, equipment, and additional products and services that benefit agriculture, across the state.

About the Author(s)

Jennifer Carrico

Editor, Wallaces Farmer

Jennifer lives on a farm near Redfield, Iowa, where she runs a small cow-calf operation with her family. A 20-plus year ag journalism veteran, Jennifer has covered a wide range of agriculture issues. A graduate of Iowa State University, she has worked for local daily papers and other agriculture publishers. She came to Wallaces Farmer from the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. She enjoys writing, managing cattle, and hearing and telling farmer stories.

Jennifer has two children. Kassidy, 21, attends Black Hawk East College, but will transfer in the fall to Oklahoma State University. Son, Klayton, attends Panorama High School where he excels in academics, sports, FFA and 4-H.

“My favorite part of being an ag journalist is to tell the story of the farmer and rancher,” she says. “The farmer and rancher do the work to make the food, fiber and fuel for everyone. I want to use our online presence to broaden that message to those off the farm.”

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