By Molly Foley
On July 11, Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey visited Curtiss Hall to talk with the George Washington Carver interns on campus for the summer.
“Congratulations for being a part of this program,” Northey said.
He began his commentary discussing the importance of the agricultural industry and the opportunities that are presented to those entering as professionals, researchers, teachers and advocates.
He also highlighted the role that George Washington Carver played as a mentor and role model to students, especially Henry Wallace.
“Find something that you really, really like. That’s exactly what Carver did,” Northey said, advocating for getting involved in associations and clubs that have similar interests. “It was a big deal for me,” he said.
The second half of his discussion with the interns focused on Iowa agriculture and the improvements being made to the state’s agriculture and land stewardship programs.
“Agriculture in Iowa is flat-out amazing. People came here to farm,” Northey said.
He stated the fact that only three other countries on earth will produce as much corn this year as the state of Iowa. “We have a phenomenal growing area, the world needs these products,” he said.
Technology has played a major role in the improvements made to American agriculture. Northey talked about new uses for robotic milkers and the ability to learn more about crop and animal production.
Secretary Northey showcased the pride of Iowa farms and the history they’ve created for our state. He talked about the Century and Heritage Farm awards for 100 and 150-year old farms given out each year at the Iowa State Fair.
“There’s a culture for agriculture. Often you must invest your time and effort into things that you don’t know the results of yet. Farmers are prime examples of this way of life,” he said.