Naig highlights animal disease emergency preparations, water quality and renewable fuels infrastructure in budget request

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today requested an additional $250,000 to support foreign animal disease response preparations as part of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget request. Naig also emphasized the importance of continued funding for the Iowa Water Quality Initiative and Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program. “Iowa’s $13.45 billion animal industry continues to see significant growth and is a key economic driver for our state. Avian influenza, African swine fever and other foreign animal diseases continue to represent a significant threat to our livestock farms and emphasize the need for us to expand efforts to prevent, prepare and potentially respond to an animal disease emergency,” Naig said. “It is important we continue to invest in priority areas such as animal health, water quality and renewable fuels to support our state’s farmers and help strengthen our rural economy.”

The additional $250,000 for foreign animal disease response preparations would be used to help the Department better equip and prepare for potential future outbreaks, including updating emergency response plans and organizing disease response exercises. The funds would also be targeted towards assisting livestock farmers with additional expertise and resources to increase biosecurity efforts to prevent a disease outbreak.

The Legislature provided $250,000 in funding this fiscal year to support animal disease response preparations, including supporting the hiring of Dr. Andrew Hennenfent as the Emergency Management Coordinator for the Department.

Naig also requested continued funding of $10.575 million to support the Iowa Water Quality Initiative in the next fiscal year. This annual funding is in addition to the long-term water quality funding that was passed last session and will provide $4 million to the Department next fiscal year.

This funding is used to provide cost share to implement conservation practices across the state. The funds will also support numerous demonstration projects focused on implementing and demonstrating water quality practices. Currently, there are 14 targeted watershed projects, seven projects focused on expanding the use and innovative delivery of water quality practices and 43 urban water quality demonstration projects.

Naig also highlighted the importance of continued funding for the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program. The Department has received $3 million annually to offer cost share grants for the installation of E85 dispensers, blender pumps, biodiesel dispensers and biodiesel storage facilities. Since 2007, the program has distributed nearly $31 million to support the installation of 332 E85 dispensers/blenders, 291 biodiesel dispensers/blenders and 140 biodiesel terminals across Iowa.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet