Northey wins Iowa secretary of agriculture election

Daily Staff

Republican Bill Northey is Iowa’s new secretary of agriculture as of press time, leading with 63 percent against Democratic candidate Francis Thicke with 37 percent.

Northey is focused on renewable energy in Iowa and protecting Iowa’s natural resources.

Iowa is ranked second in the amount of wind power production among U.S. states, and Northey wants to keep this green movement going by producing more sustainable energy sources, such as turbines and stands, and reducing the environmental impact of farming.

He recognized that Iowa needs to cut budgets and staff, but he wants to “make things more efficient and smarter in order to save money.”

Francis Thicke, a Democrat, also focused on sustainability, specifically alternative energy and soil retention.

Thicke said it wasn’t an optimal election but is glad his and Northey’s campaigns brought more awareness to sustainable agriculture.

“I didn’t win the election, but the dialogue will continue,” Thicke said.

Thicke thinks Iowa is too dependent on fossil fuels and suggests switching to wind power and biofuel, which he said are better sources of energy for agriculture than ethanol.

Conserving Iowa’s soil is important since Iowa is losing topsoil and organic matter 10 times faster than the depleted soil is being renewed, Thicke said. This could be solved by putting livestock back on the land.

Thicke said he will get back to the land after elections.

“I’m a farmer and had someone stepping in helping to run the farm during my campaign, so I’ll be farming again,” Thicke said. “I’ll be a part of the dialogue about agriculture in the future.”