Brooklyn dairy farmer and former Iowa Farm Bureau Financial president Craig Lang has submitted his nomination petitions to appear on the June 5 Republican primary ballot as a candidate for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture while encouraging any GOP opponents to join him in a series of debates in different regions of the state.
Lang, who was required to collect at least 1,000 signatures from a minimum of 10 counties, gathered more than 2,880 signatures from all 99 counties. He was the first candidate to submit signatures for any office this morning and the first to file for secretary of agriculture. Bill Northey, a Republican who is serving his third term in the post, has been nominated to a U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary position.
Lang said his priorities will be to improve Iowa’s water quality, soil health and rural economy. He proposed four debates before the June 5 primary.
“The decision to place my name on the ballot on the first day that petitions are accepted is another reflection of my desire to lead Iowa's agriculture and agribusiness sectors to lasting solutions on the important challenges that face us," Lang said. "I know we're going to have others join the race – people I've worked with and people I consider friends – and I'm looking forward to a healthy debate on the issues so we can bring rural and urban Iowans together to make our state better."
Lang has been farming more than 40 years. He and his two sons, who are the family’s sixth generation of farmers, milk a 650-head dairy herd, farm 1,200 acres and run a cow/calf beef operation. He was one of the longest serving leaders of both the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, where he served as president from 2001 through 2011, and the FBL Financial Group, where he served as chairman of the board for a concurrent term. He also was chairman of the Grow Iowa Values Fund and chairman of the State Board of Regents.