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Iowa farmer running for top ag job in the state

Iowa farmer running for top ag job in the state

Tim Gannon wants to be Iowa’s next agriculture secretary

By Diego Flammini
News Reporter

A farmer from Jasper County, IA has thrown his name into the running to become Iowa’s next Secretary of Agriculture.

Tim Gannon farms about 900 acres of cash crops and wants to bring the lessons he’s learned on the farm to the state legislature.

“My values come from my family farm and the small town in which I was raised,” Gannon said in a statement announcing his candidacy. “I know firsthand the critical role agriculture plays in the success of Iowa. It is the foundation on which sustainable growth and job creation comes to all corners of our state.”

Though a farmer first, Gannon also brings a wealth of political experience.

The 41-year-old Democratic candidate worked under then-U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack as an associate administrator from 2009 to 2017 within the USDA’s Risk Management Agency.

Should he win the job later this year, Gannon will look to find additional market access for Iowa producers.

“As Secretary of Agriculture, I will strengthen support for the pillars of Iowa agriculture and I will fight to expand the market so that producers of all types and sizes can thrive,” according to his statement.

His other areas of focus will include strengthening the agricultural economy and encouraging the next generation to consider farming as a career option, according to the Des Moines Register.

“If we aren’t ensuring that the rural economy continues to grow and stay strong, it’s going to be harder and harder for folks who face long commutes to jobs, kids who face longer stretches on school buses, or folks who need critical health care, longer trips to and from the doctor,” he told the Des Moines Register on Thursday. “It all starts with agriculture.”

Gannon is the only official Democratic candidate announced in the election to replace incumbent Bill Northey, who’s in line to accept a position within the USDA.

Three Republicans are also vying for the position.

The candidates are Craig Lang, a dairy farmer and former president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Ray Gaesser, chairman of the American Soybean Association, and Mike Naig, Iowa’s deputy agriculture secretary.

Top photo: Tim Gannon/Facebook