On April 17, five candidates running for the position of Iowa Secretary of Agriculture will participate in a public forum on Dordt College's campus. Candidates Ray Gaesser, Chad Ingels, Craig Lang, Dan Zumbach, and Mike Naig will each have 15 minutes to share their platform with a time for questions at the end.
"As voters and people interested in agriculture in Iowa, this is our chance to find out where the candidates stand on the issues affecting the ag community," says Gary De Vries, a Dordt agriculture professor. "Also, this is a great chance to have our voices heard on what we think those important issues are.”
The forum is sponsored by Dordt's student-run Ag Club, and will be moderated by the club president Alayna Gerhardt.
"As agriculturists, we need an advocate as state, national, and global agriculture policies and trade agreements are made,” says Gerhardt. ”Iowa is the top producing state for corn, soybeans, and hogs, and Sioux County is the top agriculture county in the state; these policies directly impact us.”
The event will be held in the Campus Center from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
- Ray Gaesser is chairman of the American Soybean Association and farms 6,050 acres of land near Corning, Iowa. Gaesser Farms prioritizes conservation practices such as cover crops. Gaesser has presented to both Congress and the U.S. Department of Justice.
- Chad Ingels farms in northeast Fayette County and served as Iowa State University's Extension Watershed Specialist for 17 years. He is currently the acting commission chair of Iowa's Environmental Protection Commission.
- Craig Lang, a fifth-generation farmer from Poweshiek County, farms 1,200 acres and runs a cow/calf beef operation with his sons. Lang served as president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation from 2001–2011 and has worked on agriculture bio-technology with the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.
- Dan Zumbach has been an Iowa state senator since 2013 and farms in Ryan County. Zumbach is chairman of the agriculture committee and assistant majority leader.
- Mike Naig hails from Cylinder, Iowa and currently holds the Secretary of Agriculture position. He served as former secretary Bill Northey's deputy secretary from 2013–2018 before Governor Kim Reynolds appointed Naig to the position.