Craig Lang wants to be Iowa’s next Secretary of Agriculture
By Diego Flammini
The search is on for the next leader of Iowa’s agriculture department.
Bill Borthey, the Department of Agriculture’s current leader, is set to take a role in the White House. And perspective candidates have started announcing campaign intentions.
One candidate is already very familiar with Iowa’s ag landscape.
Craig Lang, who served as the president of the Iowa Farm Bureau from 2001 to 2011, officially launched his campaign on Friday for the Republican nomination to fill Northey’s vacancy.
The 66-year-old dairy farmer outlined three goals during his official campaign kickoff at his farm near Brooklyn, IA. They focus on the protection and regeneration of Iowa’s 29 million farming acres.
“We’ve had conservation,” he said during his campaign announcement on Dec. 22, according to WHOtv. “Now, let’s add soil health, let’s clean the water and (improve) the economic activity. For the 10 years (I served) as Farm Bureau president, that was a priority issue with me.
“So, I want to take that (and) call it a renaissance of economic activity across the entire state of Iowa.”
Lang’s other ambitions including introducing five million acres of cover crops in five years and making improvements to the cattle industry.
He also wants to help the rural and urban communities come together to reach common goals.
“There’s been a division but I don’t want there to be a division,” he said. “I want everyone working together at the same table.”
There haven’t been any other official announcements, but a U.S. Senator from Iowa thinks a family member could be the right fit to lead Iowa’s agriculture sector.
State Rep. Pat Grassley, grandson of Senator Chuck Grassley, acknowledged in September that he’d like to succeed Northey.
And the senior Grassley “hopes he’ll be appointed” by Governor Kim Reynolds, according to the Des Moines Register.
If the Senate confirms Northey as the USDA undersecretary for farm production and conservation, Gov. Reynolds will appoint someone to serve as Iowa’s agriculture secretary until the 2018 election.