Secretary Naig Thanks Governor Reynolds, Legislature for Strong Support of Iowa Agriculture

DES MOINES, Iowa (Apr. 22, 2024) – Following the conclusion of another strong and successful legislative session, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today thanked Governor Reynolds and the members of the Iowa Legislature for their steadfast support of Iowa agriculture:

“It’s hard to imagine a strong Iowa without a strong agriculture. The work accomplished during the 2024 legislative session will ensure that Iowa continues to be a great place to live, work and play, and our state’s top industry will continue to grow and thrive. I appreciated the opportunity to work alongside the Governor and our legislators to protect Iowa’s farmland, develop markets and build processing capacity, enhance Iowa’s soil and water, support Iowa’s livestock industry and build our future workforce, which will positively benefit Iowans for many years to come. 

I want to extend my gratitude to Governor Reynolds, Leader Whitver and Speaker Grassley for yet another successful and productive legislative session. I also want to specifically thank the Co-Chairs of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Dan Zumbach and Representative Norlin Mommsen, for their continued investment in priorities that are important to Iowa’s agriculture community.”

The following represent a sampling of successes for Iowa agriculture during the 2024 session:

Responsive Government that Serves Iowans

Lower Taxes for Iowans
•    Hard-working Iowans will keep more of their money following the tax reform that will reduce Iowa’s flat tax to 3.8 percent. These changes will save taxpayers billions of dollars over the next several years, allowing Iowans to invest more in their families and businesses.

Conservative and Responsible Budget
•    Iowa has consistently been ranked as one of the most fiscally responsible states in the nation. Iowa's budget will continue to spend conservatively and invest in programs and priorities that help our economy grow, all while maintaining full reserve accounts and a healthy surplus.

Efficient Government
•    Numerous technical changes were incorporated throughout various bills that will help streamline existing programs and processes at the Department, all of which will help us more efficiently and effectively serve Iowans.

Protecting Iowa’s Farmland

Foreign Ownership of Farmland Law
•    With the additional enforcement, deterrence and disclosure tools and requirements that are incorporated through legislation, Iowa’s prohibition on the foreign ownership of farmland will continue to be a model for other states. 

Developing Markets and Building Processing Capacity

Choose Iowa
•    A Butchery Innovation Program was authorized within the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Previously, the program existed under the purview of the Iowa Economic Development Authority and provided grants to expand and revitalize small-scale meat processors and lockers. 
•    The Choose Iowa program received additional funding to continue promoting our state’s signature brand for Iowa grown, Iowa raised and Iowa made products
•    Choose Iowa’s Value-Added and Dairy Innovation grant programs received funding to continue to broaden the availability of Iowa grown, Iowa raised and Iowa made products.
•    A new food purchasing incentive program was authorized within Choose Iowa that will connect Iowa farmers to food banks and schools. This will create markets for farmers as we provide nutritious meals to our students and help to alleviate food insecurity for our neighbors in need.

Small-Scale Poultry Processing 
•    Pending federal authorization, small-scale poultry processing establishments will be able to perform both official inspected and custom-exempt processing at the same facility. The change aligns poultry processing with existing standards for red meat processing.

Greater Access to Biofuels
•    Drivers save money when they can access lower cost and lower carbon biofuels like E15. Continued funding for the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program, a successful longstanding program, will help more gas stations install infrastructure to offer higher blends of biofuels.
•    Fuel retailers will also be given greater flexibility and more options to upgrade their fueling infrastructure to offer higher biofuel blends. This will accelerate the expansion of lower cost E15 availability for Iowa consumers and reduce compliance costs for Iowa fuel retailers.

Enhancing Iowa’s Soil and Water

Continued Investment in Water Quality and Soil Conservation
•    Iowa is continuing to set records for water quality and soil conservation adoption and continued support for long-term dedicated funding will allow for further acceleration and momentum.

Iowa Nitrogen Initiative
•    Farmers depend on the best science when making decisions about crop production, including nutrient management, crop inputs and conservation practices. The Iowa Nitrogen Initiative leads to tools that farmers can utilize to optimize nutrient management, boost profitability and protect our natural resources.

Supporting Iowa’s Valuable Livestock Industry 

Foreign Animal Disease Preparedness
•    Iowa’s livestock farmers are continually threatened by foreign animal diseases such as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, Foot and Mouth Disease and African Swine Fever. The Department received additional funding to support ongoing preparedness and response activities that help to protect Iowa’s valuable livestock industry.

Food Labeling Integrity
•    Consumers deserve to know what goes into their food. Legislation passed this session will require the transparent labeling of lab-grown, plant-based and insect-based proteins to ensure that consumers are well-informed of what they are buying to feed their families.

Tax Relief for Livestock Farmers
•    Livestock farmers that own breeding stock will receive tax relief from legislation that eliminates capital gains taxes on that livestock. The bill is retroactive to 2023.

Building Iowa’s Future Workforce

Agriculture Education
•    High school students can use agricultural education instruction to meet a portion of the requirements related to science. They can also use curriculum from applied sciences, technology, engineering, or manufacturing to meet a portion of the unit requirements related to mathematic


About the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Led by Secretary Mike Naig, the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship serves the rural and urban residents that call Iowa home. Through its 14 diverse bureaus, the Department ensures animal health, food safety and consumer protection. It also promotes conservation efforts to preserve our land and enhance water quality for the next generation. Learn more at

Media Contact:
Don McDowell
Communications Director