Secretary of Agriculture of Iowa

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Ethanol plant under construction, Butler County, Iowa

The Secretary of Agriculture of Iowa is an elected position in government of the U.S. state of Iowa that was created in 1923 by the extra session of the 40th General Assembly. The Secretary of Agriculture heads the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, which is responsible for managing land and helping farmers in the state.[1]


Harvesting corn during the record 2009 season in Jones County, Iowa

Directly and indirectly, agriculture has always been a major component of Iowa's economy. However, the direct production and sale of raw agricultural products contributes only about 3.5% of Iowa's gross state product.[2]

The indirect role of agriculture in Iowa's economy can be measured in multiple ways, but its total impact, including agriculture-affiliated business, has been measured at 16.4% in terms of value added and 24.3% in terms of total output. This is lower than the economic impact in Iowa of non-farm manufacturing, which accounts for 22.4% of total value added and 26.5% of total output.[3]

Iowa's main agricultural outputs are hogs, corn, soybeans, oats, cattle, eggs and dairy products. Iowa is the nation's largest producer of ethanol and corn. Major Iowa agricultural product processors include Cargill, Inc., Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Monsanto Company, Ajinomoto and Hy-Vee.

List of Secretaries of Agriculture of Iowa[edit]

# Picture Secretary Took office Left office Party Notes
1. Raymond W. Cassady 1923 1924 Republican
R. G. Clark 1924 1924 Republican Served only as interim Secretary of Agriculture of Iowa.
2. Mark G. Thornburg 1924 1933 Republican
3. Ray Murray 1933 1937 Democratic
4. Thomas L. Curran 1937 1939 Democratic
5. Mark G. Thornburg 1939 1943 Republican
6. Harry D. Linn 1943 1950 Republican
7. Clyde Spry 1950 1961 Republican Appointed upon resignation of Linn in June 1950.
8. L. B. Liddy 1961 1965 Republican Appointed upon death of Spry in June 1961.
9. Kenneth Owen 1965 1967 Democratic
10. L. B. Liddy 1967 1973 Republican
11. Robert H. Lounsberry (2).png Robert H. Lounsberry 1973 1987 Republican
12. Dale M. Cochran.png Dale M. Cochran 1987 1999 Democratic
13. Patty Judge (cropped).jpg Patty Judge 1999 2007 Democratic
14. Bill Northey by Gage Skidmore.jpg Bill Northey 2007 2018 Republican Resigned to become U.S. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services.
15. Mike Naig 2018 Incumbent Republican



  1. ^ What Does The Department Do? Archived October 2, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Accessed July 2, 2009.
  2. ^ Des Moines:Iowa Legislative Services Agency. 2007 Iowa Factbook Archived December 22, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. p. 59.
  3. ^ "Multiple Measures of the Role of Agriculture in Iowa's Economy".