Thicke, a Democrat, is opposing first-term Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey (R-Spirit Lake) in the Nov. 2 general election.
He said combining a “book tour” with a campaign swing is working out well.
“I’m finding a good reaction to innovative ideas for agriculture as we need to be looking to the future.”
“I’m not a politician by nature. I’m a scientist and a farmer. The major issues are not being addressed,” Thicke said. “We must have a plan for the future to avoid chaos and possible food shortages.”
The sub-title of his book, A New Vision for Food and Agriculture - “Agriculture After the Oil Crash”- points out his strong feeling Iowa and agriculture everywhere need to lessen the dependence on oil for production.
Thicke said, “We need to plan now to be energy self-sufficient in agriculture.” He maintains farmers “have been highly dependent on cheap oil and the problem is we’re at the end of the cheap oil era.”
Thicke calls for “the next generation in wind development - ‘mid-size’ turbines to power farms.”
In addition he advocates bio-fuels on a smaller scale.
Thicke calls for a move away from corporate farming and says the development of alternative crops would employ many more Iowans.
He says “Iowa, the food capitol of the world, has 90 percent of its foods imported, a major irony.”
He believes development of local farms to fill this need is important for the future of Iowa agriculture.
Thicke grew up on a dairy farm “just over the Iowa border in Minnesota. He has operated his organic dairy farm with a herd of 80 cows for 27 years near Fairfield.
An innovator himself, solar power is used in the dairy operation.
The operation processes and sells the milk products locally in the Fairfield area.
Thicke holds a doctorate in agronomy and served in the USDA in Washington D.C.
Democrat candidate for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, organic dairy farmer and author Francis Thicke with a copy of his new book in Tama on Aug. 23.