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Simpson College to host National Agriculture Day program

Agricultural law and policy experts Bill Northey and Jennifer Zwagerman featured speakers on “Trends in Agricultural Policy”


Simpson College will host a National Agriculture Day program called “Trends in Agricultural Policy” at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 23, 2021. The discussion features three widely-regarded experts in the agricultural field. 

Bill Northey, former USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation and Jennifer Zwagerman, director of the Drake University Agricultural Law Center, will lead the discussion. Donnelle Eller, statewide agricultural business reporter for The Des Moines Register, will moderate the talk.

The virtual event is free and open to the public via Zoom. Register at simpson.zoom.us.

“The John C. Culver Public Policy Center is pleased to partner with the Simpson College Department of Political Science to host this timely discussion of trends in agricultural policy featuring some of Iowa’s most insightful and experienced voices on agricultural law and policy,” said Seth Andersen, director of the Culver Center. “Former Under Secretary Northey and Professor Zwagerman have unique perspectives on the complex dynamics of modern agriculture at the state, federal, and international levels that can inform policy-making on issues ranging from water quality and soil health to carbon capture techniques and the future of ethanol production for fuel.”

Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture for more than a decade, Northey served as USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation from 2018-21. He has owned and operated Northey Farms in Spirit Lake, Iowa for nearly 40 years. 

Former president of the American Agricultural Law Association, Zwagerman started at Drake Law School in 2011 as director of career development. She also serves as an assistant professor of law in addition to her duties as director of the Agricultural Law Center. 

“With Iowa as a leading agricultural producer and a former Iowa governor back at the helm of the United States Department of Agriculture, it is important for us to host conversations that dive into an industry that is so influential in our state,” said Adrienne Gathman, assistant professor of political science. “Former Under Secretary Northey and Professor Zwagerman have a significant background in the policy arena and will be able to provide a diverse perspective on where it has been and where it is going.”  

The National Agricultural Day program is presented by Simpson College’s Department of Political Science and the John C. Culver Public Policy Center. Co-sponsors include the Drake University Agricultural Law Center and Two Rivers Cooperative.

About the John C. Culver Public Policy Center
The John C. Culver Public Policy Center was established at Simpson College in 2010 to honor the service of John C. Culver, who served the people of Iowa for 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Simpson College strives to honor the example of the late John C. Culver by inspiring young people to pursue careers in public service with integrity and moral courage. The Center’s nonpartisan programs seek to educate and inspire young people to actively participate in our democracy and encourage them to consider public service as their life’s work.

About Simpson College
Simpson College is a private, liberal arts college located in Iowa with campuses in Indianola, West Des Moines and online. Founded in 1860, the college has 1,268 undergraduate and graduate students. Simpson offers 74 majors, minors and programs in addition to three graduate programs. Outside of the classroom, Simpson is a member of the NCAA Division III American Rivers Conference, hosts eight Greek houses on campus and sponsors many extracurricular options for student involvement.

Event Contact
Seth Andersen, director of the John C. Culver Public Policy Center at Simpson College
Direct: 515-961-1354
Email: seth.andersen@simpson.edu
Media Contact
Cathy Cole, vice president for marketing and strategic communication
Direct: 515-961-1595
Email: cathy.cole@simpson.edu