Former Iowa Rep. Annette Sweeney will serve as the state’s rural development director, and Amanda De Jong, senior policy adviser at the Iowa Corn Growers Association, will lead the state’s Farm Service Agency, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced.The women, serving as appointments of President Donald Trump, were among a slate of rural director and Farm Service appointments made Friday.Perdue said the appointees “play a critical role in helping the people of agriculture.”“They are the initial points of contact for millions of our USDA customers,” he said in a statement. “Our goal is to help rural America prosper, and these state leaders will be of great assistance in that task.”Sweeney farms with her family in north central Iowa and is a former teacher. As a state lawmaker, she was chairwoman of the House agriculture committee.De Jong also worked for U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley and at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In her role with the Iowa Corn Growers, De Jong worked on the Farm Bill, crop insurance, trade and other farm issues.MidAmerican Energy Co. plans to build a new wind farm in Poweshiek County, the third Iowa site selected for the utility’s $3.6 billion wind project that was announced in 2016.Altogether, MidAmerican plans… Read full this story
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