ALBIA, Iowa — Rural Voices USA, the nationwide network of farmers and rural leaders who are working to bridge the rural-urban divide and ensure rural voices are being heard on key policy issues, today announced that long-time Iowa leader Patty Judge has joined their board. Judge joins Board Chair Chris Gibbs, a farmer and leading rural voice from Ohio and Tim Wolff, a rural organizer from PA on the board. The Rural Voices USA board helps guide the organizations advocacy on major issues impacting rural communities including infrastructure investments, rural vaccinations, renewable energy, health care and more.
“Patty is trailblazer in the fight to improve the lives of rural Americans,” said Chris Gibbs, Board Chair of Rural Voices USA. “She is a leading rural voice on everything from economic development to health care to farming and we are honored to have her helping to lead our efforts at this important time. We’ve are facing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in bold ideas that can help sustain and strengthen rural economies. There is nobody more equipped to talk with rural people about what’s at stake than Patty.”
“Rural America needs to have their voice heard,” said Judge. “If we are going to keep family farms, rebuild our roads and bridges, bring broadband to rural communities and more, we are going to have to knock on our neighbor’s door and some doors in Washington D.C. too. I’ve spent my life taking on challenges for rural Iowa and we’ve got some big ones right now. Fortunately, we also have some real opportunities on the horizon that I’m proud to join with Rural Voices USA in fighting for.”
Patty Judge has spent her career fighting – and winning – for rural communities, struggling families and economic opportunity.
Currently, Rural Voices USA is working in rural communities and in Washington, D.C. to, among other things:
- Champion infrastructure investments in roads, bridges, waterways, ports and broadband that help American farmers and families as part of an upcoming infrastructure package;
- Fight for energy policies that promote renewable fuels that are essential to rural economic strength and jobs;
- Promote vaccinations in rural communities to safeguard rural families and rebuild and reopen rural businesses;
Patty Judge was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 1992 and re-elected in 1996. During the six years in the senate, she served as assistant majority and minority leader. In 1998 Patty Judge became the first woman in Iowa to be elected Secretary of Agriculture. Re-elected in 2002, she served two terms in that post. Throughout her term as Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture, Patty worked tirelessly promoting renewable fuels – ethanol and biodiesel in particular. Under her leadership renewable energy grew to become an integral part of Iowa’s economy. Patty Judge was elected Lieutenant Governor of Iowa in 2006, serving in that position for four years. During her term in office she served as the Governor’s Homeland Security Advisor (HSA).
As a former Registered Nurse, Patty has many years of experience in the healthcare field, including Public Health. A lifelong resident of Iowa, Patty and her family have owned a cow/calf farm in Monroe County for over 40 years. In addition to the farming operation, Patty has owned and operated her own small business, selling and appraising real estate. During the farm crisis of the 1980s, she worked as a mediator with hundreds of farm families and creditors across the state to find solutions to financial troubles. Patty and her husband John have three sons and five grandchildren, all of whom still call Iowa home.
Rural Voices USA is a 501 (c) 4 non-profit non-partisan organization dedicated to ensuring the voices and views of rural Americans are heard in the policy debates impacting their lives. For more information visit https://www.ruralvoices.us/
— Rural Voices USA
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