Farmers are part of the current leadership team at USDA. That includes Missouri farmer Richard Fordyce leading FSA and Illinois farmer Martin Barbre at RMA. USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey, who farms in northwest Iowa, sees value in that experience “I may not understand everything going on with a peanut farm or potato farm, but I think having people with ag experience at the table is very beneficial.” There’s speculation the next Agriculture Secretary may be more focused on nutrition programs than farm programs. Northey says USDA is a huge place, but a significant part of the job is working with and for farmers. “I think as much as possible good farmer experience by the Secretary and as many people as possible is important.” Northey told RRFN he has no plans in place when his time at USDA is done. He’s focused on wrapping up his work and running through the finish line. Here’s the complete interview.