Agriculture commissioner

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In the state governments of the United States, all 50 states have the executive position of agriculture commissioner, director of agriculture, or secretary of agriculture. This official is in charge of the state's agriculture department. The agriculture commissioners are organized at the national level by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.[1]

The agriculture commissioner is elected in 12 states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Texas. The powers and duties of the office vary from state to state, but are often substantial: in about 40 states, agriculture departments regulate the animal industry, and in roughly half the states, agriculture departments regulate food safety and meat inspection.[2] In some states, the agriculture commissioner has more power. For example, in Florida the agriculture commissioner is one of three members of the Florida Cabinet (along with the governor and attorney general), giving the commissioner some influence over state policy beyond agriculture.[2] In North Dakota, the agriculture commissioner sits on a number of important boards, such as the North Dakota Industrial Commission (which oversees the state-owned North Dakota Mill and Elevator and Bank of North Dakota).[2]

In the past, these positions were often filled by conservative Democrats, but since 2011 the offices of agriculture commissioners have been dominated by the Republican Party.[2]


State Officeholder Title Term start Party
Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries Rick Pate Commissioner January 2019 Republican Party
Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Agriculture Arthur Keyes Director February 17, 2016 Nonpartisan
Arizona Department of Agriculture Mark Killian Director April 10, 2015 Nonpartisan
Arkansas Department of Agriculture Wes Ward Secretary 2015 Nonpartisan
California Department of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross Secretary January 12, 2011 Nonpartisan
Colorado Department of Agriculture Don Brown Commissioner February 17, 2015 Nonpartisan
Connecticut Department of Agriculture Steven Reviczky Commissioner March 1, 2011 Nonpartisan
Delaware Department of Agriculture Michael Scuse Secretary January 25, 2017 Nonpartisan
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried Commissioner January 2019 Democratic Party
Georgia Department of Agriculture Gary Black Commissioner January 10, 2011 Republican Party
Hawaii Department of Agriculture Scott Enright Commissioner January 1, 2014 Nonpartisan
Idaho Department of Agriculture Celia Gould Director January 2, 2007 Nonpartisan
Illinois Department of Agriculture Raymond Poe Director November 16, 2015 Nonpartisan
Indiana Department of Agriculture Bruce Kettler Director January 8, 2018 Nonpartisan
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Mike Naig Secretary March 1, 2018 Republican Party
Kansas Department of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey Secretary December 10, 2013 Nonpartisan
Kentucky Department of Agriculture Ryan Quarles Commissioner 2016 Republican Party
Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Michael G. Strain Commissioner January 14, 2008 Republican Party
Maine Department of Agriculture Walter E. Whitcomb Commissioner 2011 Nonpartisan
Maryland Department of Agriculture Joe Bartenfelder Secretary December 23, 2014 Nonpartisan
Massachusetts Department of Agriculture John Lebeaux Commissioner February 6, 2015 Nonpartisan
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Gordon Wenk Director March 3, 2018 Nonpartisan
Minnesota Department of Agriculture David Frederickson Commissioner 2011 Nonpartisan
Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson Commissioner 2018 Republican Party
Missouri Department of Agriculture Chris Chinn Director 2017 Nonpartisan
Montana Department of Agriculture Ben Thomas Director January 6, 2017 Nonpartisan
Nebraska Department of Agriculture Steve Wellman Director December 5, 2017 Nonpartisan
Nevada Department of Agriculture Jim Barbee Director June 8, 2011 Nonpartisan
New Hampshire Department of Agriculture Shawn Jasper Commissioner December 9, 2017 Nonpartisan
New Jersey Department of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher Secretary February 10, 2009 Nonpartisan
New Mexico Department of Agriculture Jeff Witte Secretary 2011 Nonpartisan
New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Richard A. Ball Commissioner January 9, 2014 Nonpartisan
North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Steve Troxler Commissioner February 8, 2005 Republican Party
North Dakota Department of Agriculture Doug Goehring Commissioner 2009 Republican Party
Ohio Department of Agriculture David T. Daniels Director February 16, 2012 Nonpartisan
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry Jim Reese Secretary January 10, 2011 Nonpartisan
Oregon Department of Agriculture Alexis Taylor Director January 23, 2017 Nonpartisan
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Russell Redding Secretary January 20, 2015 Nonpartisan
Rhode Island Department of Agriculture Kenneth Ayars Commissioner 1998 Nonpartisan
South Carolina Department of Agriculture Hugh Weathers Commissioner 2005 Republican Party
South Dakota Department of Agriculture Mike Jaspers Secretary June 7, 2016 Nonpartisan
Tennessee Department of Agriculture Jai Templeton Commissioner May 1, 2016 Nonpartisan
Texas Department of Agriculture Sid Miller Commissioner 2015 Republican Party
Utah Department of Agriculture and Food LuAnn Adams Commissioner 2014 Nonpartisan
Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets Anson Tebbetts Secretary January 5, 2017 Nonpartisan
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Sandra J. Adams Commissioner December 16, 2013 Nonpartisan
Washington State Department of Agriculture Derek Sandison Director June 15, 2015 Nonpartisan
West Virginia Department of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt Commissioner January 16, 2017 Republican Party
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Sheila Harsdorf Secretary November 17, 2017 Republican Party
Wyoming Department of Agriculture Doug Miyamoto Director March 15, 2015 Nonpartisan


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  2. ^ a b c d Louis Jacobson, Where Have All the Democratic Agriculture Commissioners Gone?, Governing (February 26, 2016).
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