Name: Mike Naig (incumbent)
Residence: Des Moines
Occupation: Secretary of Agriculture
What are the most important issues you think need to be addressed if you are elected?
I am focused on the future of Iowa agriculture, and that begins with addressing the challenges of protecting our natural resources, ensuring increased market opportunities, and providing opportunities for all Iowans. We need to build on the momentum we have created on improving soil health and water quality, and under my leadership the Department will scale up the implementation of Iowa’s nutrient reduction strategy. As secretary, I have and will continue to protect and expand markets for Iowa products and businesses, both foreign and domestic. As a state, we must pursue strategies to help us attract, retain, and encourage the next generation to pursue careers in agriculture.
Tell voters why you are running for this position. What makes you most qualified?
Growing up on a fifth-generation century farm (an operation I continue to be involved with, with my father and uncle, today), I have a deep appreciation for the important impact the Secretary of Agriculture can have on this critical sector that employs once in five Iowans. I am the only candidate in this race with firsthand experience in this position. Voters get to see me in action today and do not have wonder how I’ll lead and represent their interests.
What should voters know about you before going to the polls?
Having served as deputy secretary since 2013, I have been traveling the state listening to Iowans as they share their concerns and their priorities and advocating on their behalf. I have worked through budget cuts, built water-quality programs, and have focused on animal disease preparedness. I am on the job today ensuring that the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is delivering on its mission to protect consumers, protect our state’s natural resources and advocating for Iowa.
What other issues related to your platform do you think voters should be aware of before they vote?
It is my view that Iowa farm families know best how to be effective, good stewards of their land — not bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. That is why I will continue fighting everyday to scale up our nutrient reduction strategy, and give Iowans the tools they need to improve water quality and soil health on their land. I also will continue to tirelessly advocate for increased trade and market opportunities for our crop farmers and livestock producers.