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New Commissioner of Agriculture introduced in Kentucky

Ryan Quarles takes over for James Comer

By Diego Flammini, Farms.com

There’s a new Commissioner in town in Kentucky’s Department of Agriculture and his name is Ryan Quarles.

Ryan Quarles

He was officially sworn into state office by Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. on Monday in Frankfort.

Quarles became the new Agriculture Commissioner after defeating Democratic nominee Jean-Marie Lawson Spann in November 2015.

Former Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, who held the seat since 2012, decided to pursue a spot in Kentucky’s Congress.

He said becoming the State’s Agriculture Commissioner has been a long time goal and he will use the opportunity to advocate for farmers and all citizens of Kentucky.

“Being the commissioner of agriculture for Kentucky has been a dream of mine since I was a child, and it is a great honor and privilege to serve as your next commissioner,” he said. “Having grown up on a farm, I personally know the challenges and struggles that we will face as a community in the coming years. As your commissioner, I am committed to facing these challenges head-on and running a department of agriculture that will make all Kentuckians proud.”

According to his campaign website, his focus will include promoting urban agriculture, expanding agriculture education, creating agribusiness jobs, keeping transparency within the Agriculture Department and fighting government overreach.

About Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles:

  • Graduated from University of Kentucky in 2006 with undergraduate degrees in political science, agricultural economics, and public service. He also earned two master’s degrees in diplomacy and international commerce.
  • Earned a master’s degree in higher education from Harvard University in 2009.
  • Won the state tractor driving contest in high school and was a member of 4-H and FFA youth programs

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