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New Iowa deputy secretary of agriculture named

After five years of service at deputy secretary of agriculture, Julie Kenney has resigned and Grant Menke will replace her in the role.

December 27, 2022

2 Min Read
Tractors tilling farmland
IOWA AG: Iowa agriculture will have a new deputy secretary of agriculture at the beginning of 2023. Jennifer Carrico

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said Julie Kenney will leave the department for a new opportunity shortly after the new year, after nearly five years of exceptional leadership in the role.

“Julie is a passionate advocate for Iowa agriculture, and she has been an incredible asset to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship over the past several years,” Naig said. “I have greatly valued her friendship, tireless effort, advice and leadership as we have tackled unprecedented challenges and advanced key initiatives in support of Iowa agriculture. I know she will continue to make a big impact as she moves into her next opportunity.”

Grant Menke,Iowa’s deputy secretary of agriculture in 2023

Naig also announced the hiring of Grant Menke as the next deputy secretary of agriculture for IDALS. Menke will begin as deputy secretary on Jan. 6.

“Grant brings a lifelong passion for agriculture to the department and is well respected within the Iowa agricultural community through his years of leadership in both the public and private sector,” Naig said. “As we continue our efforts to scale up our statewide water quality efforts, build markets for our products at home and abroad, attract and retain talent to work in agricultural careers, protect animal health, and deliver on our food safety and consumer protection mission, Grant will be an important partner for me as we lead the talented team at the department.”

Menke comes to IDALS from the Iowa Corn Growers Association and Iowa Corn Promotion Board, where he has served as vice president of market development. Prior to that role, he worked as the state director for the USDA Rural Development. He has also worked as the policy director for Iowa Renewable Fuels Association and held a position on the U.S. Senate finance committee staff of Sen. Chuck Grassley.

Menke, a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, was raised on a corn and soybean farm near Calumet, Iowa, in rural O’Brien County, and now lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Susie, and their four boys.

“I am humbled and honored to serve alongside Secretary Naig as deputy secretary and to join the dedicated and distinguished team at IDALS. Agriculture is the lifeblood of our state, and the important work of the department impacts every Iowan, every day,” Menke said. “Under Secretary Naig’s leadership, I will work hard every day to carry out the vital mission of the department in promoting the responsible use of our natural resources, ensuring consumer protection and advocating for Iowa agriculture.”

Source: Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

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