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Delaware Secretary of Agriculture

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Delaware Secretary of Agriculture
General information
Office Type:  Nonpartisan
Office website:  Official Link
2013 FY Budget:  $16,564,000
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   Serves at the pleasure of the governor
Authority:  Delaware Code, 29-81-8102
Selection Method:  Appointed by the governor
Current Officeholder

Ed Kee.jpg
Name:  Ed Kee
Assumed office:  January 22, 2011
Compensation:  $117,861
Other Delaware Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSecretary of EducationAgriculture SecretaryInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources SecretaryLabor SecretaryPublic Service Commission
The Delaware Secretary of Agriculture is a state executive position in the Delaware state government. The secretary heads the Delaware Department of Agriculture, which regulates and promotes the state's agriculture industry.

Current officeholder

The current secretary is Ed Kee, who assumed office on January 22, 2011, following his appointment by Governor Jack Markell. As secretaries of agriculture serve at the governor's pleasure, Kee is not subject to periodic reappointment.

Before becoming secretary, Kee was director of agriculture for Hanover Foods Corporation. From 2004 to 2008, he was extension agricultural program leader for the University of Delaware; he also served as the university's Kent County agricultural agent and its state vegetable crops specialist. Kee holds a B.S. and M.S. in Agriculture from the University of Delaware, as well as an M.A. in Liberal Studies. He and his wife, Debbie, have two daughters and reside near Lincoln City, DE.


The office of secretary of agriculture is established by state law.[1]

Delaware Code, 29-81-8102

(a) The administrator and head of the Department shall be the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, who shall be a person qualified by training and experience to perform the duties of the office.


State law requires the secretary to be "a person qualified by training and experience to perform the duties of the office," but does not give specific guidance as to what that training or experience is.[1]


Secretaries are appointed by the governor and must be confirmed by a majority vote of the state Senate. They serve at the governor's pleasure.[1]

Delaware Code, 29-81-8102

The Secretary shall be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

Term limits

There are no term limits for the office of secretary of agriculture.


When a vacancy occurs, the deputy secretary serves as acting secretary until the governor and Senate select a permanent replacement.[1]


The secretary is the administrative head of the Delaware Department of Agriculture, which regulates and promotes Delaware agricultural produce. It inspects agricultural goods and production facilities to promote health and safety, provides marketing assistance to the state's farmers, manages state forests, and sets standards for weights and measures. Additionally, the department produces statistics and analysis of the state's agriculture market and regulates horse racing in Delaware.


  • Delaware Standardbred Breeders' Fund
  • Feed and Fertilizer Compliance
  • Food Products Inspection
  • Forest Service
  • Harness Racing Commission
  • Information & Education
  • Land Use Planning and Preservation
  • Marketing
  • Nutrient Management
  • Pesticides
  • Plant Industries
  • Poultry & Animal Health
  • Thoroughbred Racing Commission
  • Weights and Measures

State budget

The budget for the State Department of Agriculture in the Fiscal Year 2013 was $16,564,000.[2]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers


In 2012, the secretary was paid an estimated $117,861. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.


In 2010, the secretary received compensation in the amount of $112,660.[3] The secretary's compensation is set by law.

Recent news

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Office of the Secretary
Secretary Ed Kee
2320 South DuPont Highway
Dover, Delaware 19901

Tel: (302) 698-4500
Tel: (800) 282-8685 (Toll-Free in Delaware Only)

See also

External links