Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey last week requested an additional $500,000 for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Animal Industry Bureau to aid in preparing for and potentially responding to a foreign animal disease outbreak.

Iowa Image/National Atlas of the United States
Image/National Atlas of the United States

Northey also reiterated his support for the proposal passed by the Iowa House of Representatives last session that would have provided nearly $500 million through 2029 for water quality efforts in the state.

Northey highlighted these proposals in his public budget meeting with Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad.

“I recognize we are in a very tight budget time in the state, due in large part to the challenging economic environment in Iowa’s ag industry.  However, it is important we continue to invest in priority areas that put the state in a good position for continued growth,” Northey said.

Northey requested $500,000 for the Department’s Animal Industry Bureau for foreign animal disease outbreak response preparation.  The funds would be used to provide livestock farmers with additional expertise to increase biosecurity efforts and allow the Department to better equip and prepare for future responses to foreign animal disease outbreaks that may occur.

“The value of Iowa’s animal industry is $13.45 billion, and growing.  Unfortunately, the High Path Avian Influenza outbreak last year showed how devastating a foreign animal disease can be in our state.  These funds would allow the Department to better prepare for a future animal disease emergency response,” Northey said.