Secretary of Agriculture

Albia (D)

Birth: November 2, 1943, Fort Madison. Parents: Lester and Lois Gares Poole. Education: Graduated from Albia Comm. H. S., 1962; Iowa Methodist School of Nursing, 1965. Attended University of Iowa. Spouse: John Judge, 1969. Children: 3 sons; Douglas, W. Dien, and Joseph. Profession and Activities: Elected Iowa's first female secretary of agriculture in November 1998. Livestock farmer. Iowa State Senator 1992-98; served as Assis. Maj. Leader, Assis. Min. Leader, and Ranking Member of the Ag. Comm. Served on the Senate Natural Resources, Ways and Means, Appropriations, Small Business, and Economic Dev. Comm. Former mediator and regional coord. for IA Farmer Mediation Service. Former registered nurse, real estate broker and rural appraiser. Chair: Renewable Fuels and Co-Products Adv. Comm. and the IA Grain Indemnity Brd. Member: Various state boards, commissions and agriculture related organizations, including
the State Fair Brd; PEO; St. Mary's Catholic Church, Albia. Past member: Brd. of Directors, Albia Area Chamber of Commerce. Salary: $85,429. Term: expires January 2003.


Wallace State Office Building, Des Moines, IA 50319

(515) 281-5231

The Iowa Department of Agriculture was established by the 40th General Assembly in 1923. The 71st General Assembly expanded and changed the department's name in 1986 to the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. The department's mission is to encourage a relationship between people and land that recognizes the land as a resource to be managed to avoid irreparable harm and to advance farming as an economic activity as well as a way of life. The department also is required to: preserve and improve the quality of Iowa's soil, water and mineral resources; provide financial assistance for beginning farmers; and administer state regulatory, laboratory and inspection programs for the protection of consumers and producers.

By providing field services, financial assistance and incentive programs to Iowa's soil and water conservation districts, the quality of Iowa's soil and water is preserved and improved. The department works with other state entities on projects that will preserve and protect the quality of Iowa's soil and water. In addition, the department regulates mining and mined land reclamation projects.

The Agricultural Marketing Division assists Iowa producers by monitoring and reporting cash grain prices and livestock auction market prices, publishing a Farm and Commodity Organization Directory, and a Hay and Straw Producers Directory. Promoting the expansion of farmers' markets and horticulture is accomplished through the Agriculture Diversification Bureau. A statewide organic certification program is being developed in the department to assist Iowa organic producers in marketing their products.

The Office of Renewable Fuels and Co-Products promotes the production and use of ethanol, soydiesel and other fuels made from Iowa agricultural commodities, as well as value-added co-products generated from renewable fuels processing. The department supports value-added agriculture by providing grants to a wide variety of other value-added initiatives through the Rural Economic Value-Added Mentoring Program (REVAMP).

The Agricultural Development Authority provides financial assistance to farmers. The Authority administers programs to increase credit availability for farmers, including reduced interest rate programs to assist beginning farmers in acquiring land, buildings, and depreciable agricultural property. It provides assistance to farmers in soil conservation practices and operating loan guarantee programs. The Authority also coordinates the annual Iowa Agricultural Youth-Institute to provide students an opportunity to explore issues and opportunities in agriculture and agri-business.

The department monitors food produced and processed in the state. It tests feeds, fertilizers, seeds, pesticides, veterinary drugs and vitamins, meat, poultry, dairy products and drinking water to ensure public safety. It inspects dairy farms, plants, meat and poultry processing facilities, weights and measures devices, and grain warehouses to ensure compliance with state regulations.

Through the work of the department, Iowa will continue to lead the nation in environmentally friendly agriculture production, striving to become the food capital of the world in the next century.

Secreretary of Agriculture's Staff

Deputy, Brent Halling; Laboratory Division Director, Daryl Frey; Soil Conservation Division Director, James B. Gulliford; Administrative Division Director, Mary Jane Olney; Regulatory Division Director, Ronald Rowland; Agricultural Development Authority Director, Steve Ferguson