Iowa Democrats want and need a secretary of agriculture that understands the current farm economy and is willing and capable of moving the state toward sustainability in agriculture.
Tim Gannon is that person.
Sustainability is not an abstraction dreamed up by a bunch of 1960s era tree huggers. If climate change continues to supercharge our weather we will see longer droughts, increased numbers of tornadoes and more frequent extreme weather events. Already we are seeing hotter ambient temperatures and increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reducing the nutritional content of Iowa crops.
Year after year topsoil is washed away. There is a limit to how much we can lose and continue to grow crops in soil. With the soil go excess loads of nitrogen and phosphorus which find their way into the Mississippi River basin and aggregate in the Gulf of Mexico.
For progressives to address these big picture items we need a secretary of agriculture who possesses credibility in agriculture, who can relate to current farmers, and stabilize turbulence in the marketplace so needed changes can be made.
Learn more about Tim Gannon on his website here. Following is the “Meet Tim” section verbatim.
Tim Gannon farms with his dad and cousin on the family’s Century Farm in Jasper County. Growing up in Mingo, Tim learned early on that Iowa farmers held the dual roles of feeding the nation and world, while serving as the backbone of the rural economy.
Living through the Farm Crisis, Tim saw first hand that a tough time on the farm meant a tough time in town. Tim’s Dad Bill Gannon, owned the local John Deere store and as farmers were forced out of business during the Farm Crisis, Main Street businesses took a hit, too. As families were forced off farms, businesses closed up, and layoffs hit, meaning many young Iowa families were forced to move, oftentimes out of state.
That experience drives Tim everyday to improve our rural economy, and increase opportunities for Iowans across the state. As Secretary of Agriculture Tim will work to find new uses for the corn and beans we grow and keeping foreign markets open for our products; improve soil health so that our farmers remain the most productive in the world; and protect our water resources so that everyone in Iowa has clean, safe, affordable drinking water.
From 2009 to 2017, Tim worked for former Iowa governor and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in various positions focused on improving risk management options for farmers and ranchers, creating jobs in rural communities, and improving the delivery of USDA services and programs to all Americans. When credit was especially tight for rural businesses in 2009, Tim helped USDA Rural Development implement an expanded business loan program improving its delivery in all 50 states.
As Associate Administrator of the Risk Management Agency he helped oversee implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill expanding insurance options for new and beginning farmers, producers of various sizes and production methods, and insurance products for new crops. Tim worked to address difficult issues to ensure RMA worked more efficiently and respond to farmers use of new technology. Before he left USDA, RMA scored the highest of any USDA office or agency on the Federal government’s Best Places to Work survey.
In addition to farming, Tim works with a new business where he and his partners sell crop insurance to farmers and ranchers, helping them manage the risk inherent in agriculture.
Tim and his wife, Liz, welcomed a daughter, Lucy, in December 2017. They live in Des Moines with their big black dog Bert. Tim enjoys Hawkeye sports, running with Bert, BLTs with homegrown tomatoes, and searching for the best pork tenderloin in Iowa.
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