In Kentucky, Ryan Quarles entered the race to become governor
By Diego Flammini
Two heads of state ag departments are pursuing different opportunities.
In Kentucky, for example, current Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination in this year’s gubernatorial election.
“I think it’s really important we have a governor that has rural roots but can work and support our urban areas as well,” Quarles said, WNKY reported on Jan. 4. “I think rural Kentucky is motivated right now and they want a leader who has some dirt on their boots and can represent them well in Frankfort.”
The primaries in Kentucky occur on May 16. Election day across the state is Nov. 7.
With Quarles focusing on becoming governor, this means Kentucky will also have a new ag commissioner after Nov. 7.
So far, Richard Heath and Jonathan Shell have declared their candidacy for the Republican nomination.
And Sierra Enlow has filed papers to become the Democrat candidate for ag commissioner.
In Indiana, the state ag director has stepped down.
On Dec. 20, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch announced Bruce Kettler is leaving his post as director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture to become president and CEO of the Agribusiness Council of Indiana.
Kettler finished his time as ag director on Jan. 6.
“Through his dedication and commitment, he has elevated Indiana’s agribusiness development through innovation and a future-focused economy, and his leadership has set the agriculture ecosystem up for long-term success,” Gov. Eric Holcomb, who appointed Kettler as ag director in 2018, said in a statement.
The search to replace Kettler in Indiana is underway.