WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today released the following statement after Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey was confirmed by the Senate to the position of U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation.

“Bill Northey is a qualified nominee to run the U.S. Department of Agriculture office of Farm Production and Conservation and I’m pleased to see him confirmed by the Senate. This is a critical agency as the Agriculture Committee begins consideration of the Farm Bill. We are committed to America’s farmers and to passing a bipartisan Farm Bill, and today’s appointment will provide us a strong ally and advocate in the Administration to uphold that commitment.”

Earlier this month, Klobuchar joined Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) on the Senate floor in support of Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey’s nomination of U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary of Farm Production and Conservation. Northey’s confirmation was previously being blocked by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), a vocal opponent of the Renewable Fuel Standard, as leverage in negotiations about federal ethanol requirements.

For years, Klobuchar has led a bipartisan push for the EPA to release a stronger RFS to support American jobs and decrease dependence on foreign oil. Last November, the former Administration released a stronger final rule for 2018, which will require a record amount of biofuel to be mixed into our transportation fuel supply next year. Minnesota’s twenty ethanol plants and three biodiesel plants generate roughly $5 billion in combined economic output and have made our state the fourth-largest ethanol producing state in the country.