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Newly elected Iowa ag secretary to focus on livestock, trade, rural-urban relations

Article cover photo
Mike Naig was elected Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Tuesday. He told the Iowa Soybean Association that he is “laser focused” on improving water quality and soil health. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

By Aaron Putze, communications director, APR


Emmetsburg native Mike Naig was elected Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Tuesday. The first-time candidate for state elected office told the Iowa Soybean Association in an exclusive interview Wednesday he’s thrilled to be back at work representing farmers and Iowa. 

“The day after an election is a lot more enjoyable than the day before,” Naig admitted. “There’s a lot to do and we’re in this together. I’m looking forward to going to work for farmers and Iowa.” 

With another legislative session quickly approaching, he said Iowans must remain “laser focused” on improving water quality and soil health. 

Securing long-term funding earlier this year, Naig added, “allows Iowa to take the next step and change the trajectory of progress.” This includes implementing more conservation practices in more places and documenting and reporting the results. 

Naig, who bested Democrat challenger Tim Gannon by four points in Tuesday’s election, said trade and livestock growth will remain priorities for the state’s ag department. 

“It’s critical to build on progress achieved with Mexico, Canada, Europe and Japan,” he said. “Fair trade has never been more important.” 

The department will continue to make the case to Congress and the White House about the importance of trade to rural economies and resolving outstanding disputes that slow the sale of oilseeds, meat and grain. It will also advocate for growing the state’s livestock, poultry and dairy industries, ensuring adequate funding to prevent and respond to foreign animal diseases and increasing the production and consumption of biodiesel and ethanol. 

“We need to see progress on trade with soybeans,” Naig added. “It will be our message and mission to urge the administration to make real progress with China. In the meantime, we’ll continue working with the Iowa Soybean Association and its national counterparts to find new markets and developing existing ones to help meet the growing global demand for protein.” 

Naig said the ag department will also remain a strong advocate for Iowa’s farms and businesses, work to build better relationships and understanding between rural and urban communities and families and help farmers manage a challenging economic downturn. 

The campaign, Naig admitted, was a learning experience for his family and election team. 

“The support we received was humbling. To watch those returns come in Tuesday night was quite the experience,” he added.

“I’m honored to have won the election and look forward to serving Iowa the next four years,” said a tired yet energized Naig. “But I much prefer working to campaigning.”


Contact Aaron Putze at

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