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In Memory of Iowa Ag Leader Bill Northey (1959 – 2024)

Published: Feb 07, 2024

USMEF is saddened by the loss of Bill Northey, who passed away on February 5 at the age of 64. Northey was Iowa’s agriculture secretary from 2007 to 2018, when he became the nation’s first undersecretary for farm production and conservation, serving with then-U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue until 2021. He joined the Agribusiness Association of Iowa in 2022.

Northey was a champion for Iowa agriculture and supported USMEF’s work. As Iowa’s agriculture secretary, Northey welcomed international buyers to Iowa during several USMEF trade team visits. USMEF Immediate Past Chair Dean Meyer, who produces corn, soybeans, cattle and hogs near Rock Rapids, Iowa, participated with Northey during one of the trade team visits to Iowa.

“Bill was a friend and staunch ally for ag producers in Iowa,” said Meyer. “On a personal level, he was a great mentor whose leadership influenced my entire operation.”

Northey was passionate about Iowa, passionate about agriculture and will be missed by many.

(left to right) Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey poses with USMEF’s Gerardo Rodriguez and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad during a 2015 trade team visit to Iowa