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Bill Northey

Hedlin Ag Places Bill Northey as CEO of Agribusiness Association of Iowa


The Agribusiness Association of Iowa today announced that Bill Northey, former Secretary of Agriculture for Iowa, has been named as its new CEO.  Northey will be succeeding Joel Brinkmeyer, who will be retiring on May 1st.

Northey is well known in ag circles in Iowa.   An Iowa State grad, Northey grew up on a family farm in Dickinson County that is still in the family today.   Northey’s public service began as a District Commissioner for the Dickinson County Soil and Water Conservation District.   His involvement with the Iowa Corn Growers Association and the National Corn Growers Association culminated in his role as President of NCGA in 1995-1996.   Northey was elected three times as Secretary of Agriculture for Iowa in 2006, 2010, and 2014.     Most recently, Northey served as Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, his term ending in January of 2021.

“Bill’s passion for agriculture and extensive breadth of experience in Iowa agriculture are unparalleled.   His interests in soil conservation and water quality will serve AAI and its membership well.   His experience at the Iowa Statehouse as well as in Washington D.C. will be invaluable as AAI addresses the challenges its members face.   The AAI Board of Directors is delighted to have Bill on board” said Kevin Drury, Chair of the AAI Board of Directors.

“I am excited to be asked to have the opportunity to serve AAI as its CEO, “said Northey. “AAI is made up of the leading agricultural companies in Iowa working to promote Iowa agriculture opportunities and support Iowa farmer and agribusiness leadership on improving Iowa’s environment”.  

The AAI Board of Directors would like to thank outgoing CEO Joel Brinkmeyer for his nine years of steadfast and phenomenal leadership.   Under Joel’s leadership, the Iowa Nutrient Research and Education Council (INREC) was formed to be a proactive environmental organization, dedicated to enhancing products and practices of the agricultural community to improve water quality.   Likewise, the Agricultural Legal Defense Fund was formed as a novel approach to defend AAI members from negative precedent setting rulings through the court system.    The AAI Board of Directors wish Joel and his wife, Linda, nothing but the best in their retirement.

The Agribusiness Association of Iowa is based in Des Moines, Iowa and was formed in 1994.  AAI represents members, agriculture-based businesses, as one voice in a uniform, consistent, science based and common-sense approach.   The opportunity to succeed is created by a unified agribusiness industry.

AAI’s mission is to lead by advocating, communicating, and educating to enhance the viability of our members.

"I am very impressed with not only the professionalism of the Hedlin Ag’s search process, but more importantly, the quality of the candidates presented. I would highly recommend Hedlin Ag for any Executive Search!" - Mark S., COO

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