Maine Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry

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Maine Maine Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
General information
Office Type:  Nonpartisan
Office website:  Official Link
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   Serves at the governor's pleasure
Authority:  Maine Revised Statutes, Title 7, Chapter 1, §2
Selection Method:  Appointed by the governor, confirmed by the State Legislature
Current Officeholder

Walter Whitcomb.jpg
Name:  Walter Whitcomb
Assumed office:  January 2011
Compensation:  $102,689
Other Maine Executive Offices
GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorCommissioner of EducationAgriculture, Conservation and Forestry CommissionerSuperintendent of InsuranceLabor CommissionerPublic Utilities Commission
The Maine Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is a position in the Maine state government. The commissioner acts as head of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources, which deals with all aspects of the state's food system, and the Department of Conservation, responsible for preserving, protecting and enhancing Maine's land resources.

On August 30, 2012, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Conservation were merged into the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.[1]

The merger of the departments of agriculture and conservation became law in the spring of 2012 when the state passed it as part of a supplemental budget package.[2] Gov. Paul LePage announced his intentions to combine the two departments in the fall of 2011, saying a joint department could better serve farming- and forestry-related industries and help them drive economic development.[2]

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Walter Whitcomb. He was appointed by Gov. Paul LePage in August 2012.[2] Whitcomb previously served as the now defunct Commissioner of Agriculture.


The Maine Revised Statutes address the office of commissioner of agriculture, conservation and forestry in Title 7, Chapter 1, §2.[3]

The commissioner shall be the chief administrative officer of the department.


As outlined in Title 7, Part 1, Chapter 1, §1 of the Maine State Statutes, the commissioner is nominated by the Governor of Maine, subject to review by the Legislature's Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee, and confirmation by the Legislature. The commissioner holds office at the pleasure of the Governor.[4]


The commissioner of agriculture, conservation and forestry is responsible for overseeing the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, which enforces agriculture and natural resource related regulations, while also working to protect those resources in the state of Maine.[5]


The commissioner will lead the department with the help of two deputies.[2] One will be focused on “agriculture, forestry and natural resources-based economic development,” and the other focused on the departments’s day-to-day operations. The department will be organized into seven divisions focused on agriculture, forestry, animal and plant health, land use and other areas currently overseen by the two departments.[2]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

In 2012, the Maine Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry was paid an estimated $102,689. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.

Contact information

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
22 State House Station
18 Elkins Lane
Augusta, Maine 04333-0022

Phone: (207) 287-3200

See also

External links

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