A native of Fort Dodge, Jerry Fitzgerald has spent a considerable amount of time inside the Iowa Capitol, as a legislator and, later, as a lobbyist.
Since the 1990s, Fitzgerald has worked for the Iowa Pork Producers Association as a lobbyist at the Iowa Legislature. Throughout the past few decades, Fitzgerald has guided the industry through many twists and turns. His work was often focused on tackling new environmental policies and regulatory statues. Serving the pork industry with a genuine passion for and a commitment to producers, Fitzgerald ensured that environmental regulations being placed on the industry were both reasonable and science-based.
In his time, Fitzgerald has guided and assisted in passing more legislation protecting the pork industry than anyone else. He owes some of this success to his team’s ability to work with both sides of the aisle to do what is best for pork producers in the state of Iowa. An ability to reliably get bipartisan support for legislation is a talent that is truly appreciated in today’s political climate.
Although he continues to represent the Iowa pork industry, Fitzgerald has taken a small step back and is letting his two children—Matt Fitzgerald and Maggie Smith-Fitzgerald, along with Maggie’s husband Jerry Smith—take the lead at the Capitol.
“My dad has been my role model since I can remember,” Smith-Fitzgerald says. “My goal is to have his work ethic and family values. He continuously shows us what can be accomplished with hard work.”
From environmental regulations to foreign animal disease preparedness, to any other industry issue, Fitzgerald has represented the pork industry with integrity and honesty—two things that are emblematic of pork producers’ way of doing business.
Without expecting recognition or praise, Fitzgerald has tirelessly supported Iowa pork producers, and done more for the industry than many will ever know.