New deputy Iowa ag secretary named

New deputy Iowa ag secretary named

Posted Jan. 5, 2012

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today announced the hiring of a new deputy secretary for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

Jay Johnson has spent the last 13 years as director of the USDA Packer and Stockyards Administration’s Midwest Regional Office in Des Moines.

As deputy secretary, Johnson will help manage the department and focus on the areas of personnel and budget.  He also will provide support to IDALS’s efforts to make the department more accessible to Iowans by attending various meetings in Des Moines and around the state.

“I’m excited to have Jay onboard and I know he will do a great job,” Northey said. “He is a natural fit for this role and will provide important management expertise and leadership to the department as we continue our mission to ensure consumer protection, support food safety and animal health, and promote the responsible use of our natural resources.”

“I greatly appreciate Sec. Northey giving me this opportunity and I look forward to working with him and all the employees at the department to promote Iowa agriculture and serve the people of Iowa,” said Johnson.

Johnson has worked for the Packers and Stockyards Administration for the past 28 years. The Midwest Regional Office is responsible for all Packers and Stockyards functions in 12 states and all hog issues on a national basis.

Before that, he worked for 13 years at USDA in Washington, D.C., in a variety of positions before finally holding the position of Packer and Poultry Division director.

A rural northern Illinois native, Johnson graduated from Western Illinois University with a degree in agricultural business.  He and his wife, Cindy, live in rural Warren County and have three children. They raise and show club lambs and show performance quarter horses.