(Des Moines, IA) -- Mike Naig was sworn-in for his second full term as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture today (Friday) by Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Susan Christensen. Naig defeated his Democratic opponent, John Norwood in the November election.
“Thank you all for being with us today.
Chief Justice Christensen, thank you for administering the oath and for your service to our state. You gave a great Condition of the Judiciary address earlier this week and your passion for justice and for how the court system can improve lives is very evident.
I want to introduce and thank some special guests here today – Senator Joni Ernst, Congresswoman Ashley Hinson, Congressman Zach Nunn, Secretary of State Paul Pate, State Treasurer Roby Smith, Attorney General Brenna Bird, Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver and all of the state legislators here today.
Thank you for your service to our state and country.
I also want to express my appreciation for Governor Reynolds and Lt. Governor Gregg for their service. They can’t join us here today because they are booked solid with inaugural events. I am excited to have the opportunity to work with them and the pro-family, pro-growth Legislature to strengthen our agriculture, our economy and communities across the state.
I want to extend a special thanks to Senator Annette Sweeney for serving as our emcee today. I appreciate you doing that and for your many years of friendship.
I also want to acknowledge our family pastor John Kline, from Zion Lutheran Church, for your friendship and support. John will be closing us in prayer and sending us on our way today.
And now, I’d like to introduce my family – Jaime and the boys – Mitch, Zach and Joe. My parents, sisters and their families, my in-laws and extended family are here too. Thank you for being here today. This is a team sport, and I couldn’t do what I do without the support of Jaime and the boys and my parents in particular.
I have a fantastic team at the Department of Agriculture, and I want to recognize and thank them for the passion and dedication that they bring to their work to serve every Iowan every day. It seems like over the last four years, we’ve had to face one unprecedented or historic situation after another. I am proud to lead a team that works hard and strives to reflect the creativity and resiliency that we see in Iowa’s agriculture community. Please help me recognize our great team.
Four years ago, I started my comments by telling you about my family’s deep roots in agriculture here in Iowa. My ancestors were immigrant farmers from Norway and Ireland. They settled in Northern Iowa at the turn of the last century and worked hard to scratch out a living from the soil. Our family is proudly still caring for some of that same soil today on our century farm.
Because of those who have gone before us, Iowa has become famous for our agriculture production. I have said many times that God made Iowa for agriculture – but we cannot take that for granted.
We must also be famous for the stewardship of the land and our innovative approaches to addressing the needs and challenges of tomorrow.
Many Iowans could tell you a similar story about their deep roots. Yet others could tell you about arriving more recently from other parts of our country or distant places like Burma, Congo or elsewhere in the Americas. Some by choice, others as refugees.
We must consider the many Iowans who don’t come from a farm. Let’s also aspire to be famous for how we bring new people into agriculture; for how we develop the next generation.
The first day of my second term was January 2nd. I got up that morning and started thinking about what the next four years might bring and what I wanted to accomplish. I sat down for breakfast and read my daily devotional like normal. God certainly had a message for me that morning.
The reading was based on the book of James, chapter 4: 13-17 – literally the heading on the devotional was “Boasting about tomorrow”. That certainly got my attention … paraphrasing here…”Now listen you who say, today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make a profit. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that”.
Well, the message was received.
So, as we set out on the next four years and in that spirit, I’ll say this - Lord willing - and with his help, I will continue to focus on building markets, protecting our soil and water, and developing and encouraging the people that will lead the way tomorrow by putting down their own roots.
As I travel our state, visiting every county every year, I am inspired by the people I meet. These Iowans work hard, take risks, and innovate to grow their farms, families, businesses and communities.
Because of our people, I believe that in Iowa, our brightest days are ahead.
Thank you all for being here today. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as your Secretary of Agriculture and for opportunity to continue working to build a stronger future for Iowa agriculture.