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|Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture|
|January 2004 - January 2012|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 2007|
|First elected||November 2003|
|Birthday||August 25, 1969|
Farmer was born in Clay County, Kentucky. He became well known in the state for his role on the Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team, named "Mr. Basketball" in the state for 1988.
He has worked as an investment advisor and served as Vice-President of the Southern Association, State Departments of Agriculture. Farmer has been involved with the American Cancer Society, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, Children's Miracle Network, and Kicks for Kids.
- Graduated, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, 1992
- BS, Agricultural Economics/Agribusiness Management, University of Kentucky
Agriculture Commissioner (2004-2012)
Farmer was first elected to the statewide post of Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture in Nov. 2003 and assumed office the following January. After serving two terms in the office, Farmer was barred by term limits from seeking re-election in 2011. He was succeeded by fellow Republican James Comer, Jr. in January of 2012.
On March 18, 2013, the Kentucky Executive Branch Ethics Commission charged Farmer with 42 counts of ethics violations and a reported $210,000 in potential fines; until Farmer's conviction, the record number of charges dealt to an individual member of the executive branch was 16. Farmer was charged along with seven others, one being his sister, a Kentucky Registry of Election Finance employee, and the remaining six were his colleagues from the agriculture department. The state's investigation into Farmer stemmed from a report issued by Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen in Spring 2012 that blamed Farmer for engendering a "toxic culture of entitlement" within the department during his two terms as commissioner. Edelen's report, and the subsequent charges by the Ethics Commission, accused Farmer of a number of practices labeled as misuse of office. They include "improperly accepting gifts, including 12 hunting rifles, 35 case knives, wristwatches, cigars, candy and booze bought for a lavish 2008 agriculture commissioners’ convention in Lexington." At the time of his conviction, abounding speculation about an ongoing investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Attorney General's office--led by state AG Jack Conway--into Farmer's alleged misconduct could not be confirmed.
As the official watchdog of the Kentucky state government, Edelen commented on the efforts by the ethics commission to expose the agriculture department's unethical activities under Farmer's leadership, saying, "The message is clear: No one is above the law."
On April 22, 2013, a federal grand jury indicted Farmer for alleged misuse of property and over $450,000 in funds during his time as head of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
|Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture (2007)|
|Richie Farmer (R)||644,036||64.0%|
|David Lynn Williams (D)||362,339||36.0%|
|Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture (2003)|
|Richie Farmer (R)||578,008||55.2%|
|Alice Woods Baesler (D)||468,696||44.8%|
In 2007 Farmer collected $521,291 in donations.
Listed below are the top 5 contributors to his campaign.
|Richie Farmer for Commissioner of Agriculture||$84,475|
|Kentucky Republican Party||$15,000|
|Southern Crop Production Association||$2,000|
- Kentucky Department of Agriculture - Commissioner Richie Farmer
- Williams/Farmer 2011 campaign website
- Williams/Farmer 2011 on Facebook
- Williams/Farmer 2011 on Twitter
- Williams/Farmer 2011 on YouTube
- Project Vote Smart biography
- Campaign contributions: 2009, 2007, 2005, 2003
- Project Vote Smart, "Richie Farmer," retrieved May 7, 2011
- Kentucky.com, "Richie Farmer charged with 42 counts of violating Kentucky ethics laws," March 18, 2013
- "Richie Farmer could be fined $210,000 over 42 ethics violations," March 18, 2013
- Kentucky.com, "Grand jury indicts former Kentucky Agriculture Secretary Richie Farmer," April 22, 2013
- Kentucky State Board of Elections, "November 2007 General Election Results," accessed March 19, 2011
- Kentucky State Board of Elections, "November 2003 General Election Results," accessed March 19, 2011
- 2007 Farmer Campaign Donors
|Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture
| Succeeded by|
James Comer, Jr. (R)