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Agriculture Commissioner

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In the United States, the agriculture commissioner refers to the head of a state's agriculture department, division or agency. It is a state-level position within the executive branch of all 50 states. The title and duties of the office vary from state to state, but the general role is to oversee regulation of various facets of the agriculture industry as well as the promotion of state agribusiness. This state executive office is most commonly appointed rather than elected, with only 12 states using the ballot to select their agriculture commissioners. Besides commissioner, other titles assigned to role of state agriculture chief include "director" and "secretary," for example Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and Missouri Director of Agriculture.

This page details the method of selecting agriculture commissioners across the country, which is available by clicking here. There is also an election history detailing Ballotpedia's coverage of agriculture commissioner elections dating back to 2010. Ballotpedia also covers the U.S. Department of Agriculture through our Federal Affairs portal.

Quick facts about Agriculture Commissioners

Political parties

The chart below is a breakdown of the political parties pertaining to the state executive office of agriculture commissioner. The office is nonpartisan in all states where the position is appointed by the governor, which is why there are relatively few states where the party-affiliation is shown. For other state executive offices, click here.

Office Democratic Party Democratic Republican Party Republican Independent Independent Nonpartisan Total seats
Governor 1 11 0 38 50
Counts current as of March 2015. If you see an error, please email us

Current officeholders

List of current commissioners

List of All Current State Agriculture Commissioners in the United States
Political positionOfficerAssumed officePolitical Party
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Adam Putnam
2011
Ends.png Republican
Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
Ben Brancel
2011
Nonpartisan
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture
Bill Northey
2007
Ends.png Republican
Washington Director of Agriculture
Bud Hover
2013
Nonpartisan
Idaho Director of Agriculture
Celia Gould
2007
Nonpartisan
Vermont Secretary of Agriculture
Chuck Ross
2011
Nonpartisan
Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce
Cindy Hyde-Smith
2012
Ends.png Republican
Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture
Dave Frederickson
2011
Nonpartisan
Ohio Director of Agriculture
David T. Daniels
2012
Nonpartisan
Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture
Don Brown
2015
Nonpartisan
New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture
Doug Fisher
2009
Nonpartisan
North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture
Doug Goehring
2009
Ends.png Republican
Wyoming Director of Agriculture
Doug Miyamoto
2015
Nonpartisan
Delaware Secretary of Agriculture
Ed Kee
2011
Nonpartisan
Alaska Director of Agriculture
Franci Havemeister
2007
Nonpartisan
Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture
Gary Black
2011
Ends.png Republican
Nebraska Director of Agriculture
Greg Ibach
2005
Nonpartisan
Massachusetts Commissioner of Agriculture
Greg Watson
2012
Nonpartisan
South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture
Hugh Weathers
2005
Ends.png Republican
Arizona Director of Agriculture
Jack Peterson
2013
Nonpartisan
Kansas Secretary of Agriculture
Jackie McClaskey
2013
Nonpartisan
Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture
James Comer, Jr.
2012
Ends.png Republican
Michigan Director of Agriculture and Rural Development
Jamie Clover Adams
2012
Nonpartisan
New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture
Jeff Witte
2011
Nonpartisan
Nevada Director of Agriculture
Jim Barbee
2011
Nonpartisan
Oklahoma Commissioner of Agriculture
Jim Reese
2011
Nonpartisan
Maryland Secretary of Agriculture
Joe Bartenfelder
2014
Nonpartisan
Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries
John McMillan
2011
Ends.png Republican
Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture
Julius Johnson
2011
Nonpartisan
California Secretary of Agriculture
Karen Ross
2011
Nonpartisan
Oregon Director of Agriculture
Katy Coba
2003
Nonpartisan
Rhode Island Commissioner of Agriculture
Kenneth Ayars
1998
Nonpartisan
New Hampshire Commissioner of Agriculture
Lorraine Merrill
2007
Nonpartisan
Utah Commissioner of Agriculture and Food
LuAnn Adams
2014
Nonpartisan
South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture
Lucas Lentsch
2011
Nonpartisan
Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry
Michael Strain
2008
Ends.png Republican
New York Commissioner of Agriculture
Richard A. Ball
2014
Nonpartisan
Missouri Director of Agriculture
Richard Fordyce
2013
Nonpartisan
Illinois Director of Agriculture
Robert F. Flider
2012
Nonpartisan
Montana Director of Agriculture
Ron de Yong
2007
Nonpartisan
Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture
Russell Redding
2015
Nonpartisan
Hawaii Commissioner of Agriculture
Scott Enright
2014
Nonpartisan
Texas Agriculture Commissioner
Sid Miller
2015
Ends.png Republican
North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture
Steve Troxler
2005
Ends.png Republican
Connecticut Commissioner of Agriculture
Steven Reviczky
2011
Nonpartisan
Indiana Director of Agriculture
Ted McKinney
Nonpartisan
Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry
Todd Haymore
2010
Nonpartisan
West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture
Walt Helmick
2013
Electiondot.png Democratic
Maine Commissioner of Agriculture
Walter Whitcomb
2011
Nonpartisan

Elected vs. appointed

As it currently stands, there are two methods of selection used for the position of state agriculture commissioner: statewide election or gubernatorial appointment.

Nevada Director of AgricultureUtah Commissioner of Agriculture and FoodColorado Commissioner of AgricultureNew Mexico Secretary of AgricultureWyoming Director of AgricultureArizona Director of AgricultureMontana Director of AgricultureCalifornia Secretary of AgricultureOregon Director of AgricultureWashington Director of AgricultureIdaho Director of AgricultureTexas Agriculture CommissionerOklahoma Commissioner of AgricultureKansas Secretary of AgricultureNebraska Director of AgricultureSouth Dakota Secretary of AgricultureNorth Dakota Commissioner of AgricultureMinnesota Commissioner of AgricultureIowa Secretary of AgricultureMissouri Director of AgricultureArkansas Secretary of AgricultureLouisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and ForestryMississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and CommerceAlabama Commissioner of Agriculture and IndustriesGeorgia Commissioner of AgricultureFlorida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer ServicesSouth Carolina Commissioner of AgricultureIllinois Director of AgricultureWisconsin Secretary of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer ProtectionTennessee Commissioner of AgricultureNorth Carolina Commissioner of AgricultureIndiana Director of AgricultureOhio Director of AgricultureKentucky Commissioner of AgriculturePennsylvania Secretary of AgricultureNew Jersey Secretary of AgricultureNew York Commissioner of AgricultureVermont Secretary of AgricultureVermont Secretary of AgricultureNew Hampshire Commissioner of AgricultureMaine Commissioner of AgricultureWest Virginia Commissioner of AgricultureVirginia Commissioner of AgricultureMaryland Secretary of AgricultureMaryland Secretary of AgricultureConnecticut Commissioner of AgricultureConnecticut Commissioner of AgricultureDelaware Secretary of AgricultureDelaware Secretary of AgricultureRhode Island Commissioner of AgricultureRhode Island Commissioner of AgricultureMassachusetts Commissioner of AgricultureNew Hampshire Commissioner of AgricultureMichigan Director of Agriculture and Rural DevelopmentMichigan Director of Agriculture and Rural DevelopmentAlaska Director of AgricultureHawaii Commissioner of AgricultureAgri elected map.png

While the vast majority of the states that have agriculture commissioners authorize the governor to appoint an individual to the position, there are at least 12 others which have opted to hold statewide elections to determine who serves as commissioner. These states are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.

Election history

2015

See also: State executive official elections, 2015

Three states are holding scheduled elections for agriculture commissioner in 2015: Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi.

2014

Main article: State executive official elections, 2014

Seven states held regularly scheduled agriculture commissioner elections in the 2014 electoral cycle: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, North Dakota, South Carolina and Texas. Republicans entered the election with all seven seats and retained these offices on November 4, 2014. Six incumbents ran for re-election and won while Sid Miller (R) replaced Todd Staples (R) in Texas.

2013

There were no agriculture commissioner elections in 2013.

2012

Main article: State executive official elections, 2012

Two states held scheduled agriculture commissioner elections in the 2012 electoral cycle: North Carolina and West Virginia.

No party changes resulted from either election. Incumbent Steve Troxler (R) won re-election in North Carolina and Walt Helmick (D) won election in West Virginia, replacing former officeholder Gus Douglass (D).

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms "Agriculture Commissioner State ."

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of Google's news search engine.

Agriculture Commissioner Google News Feed

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See also

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External links

References