Saturday, May 07, 2011

Jeff Witte tapped as new NM Ag Secretary

Jeff Witte of Las Cruces has been named secretary of New Mexico Department of Agriculture. New Mexico State University regents announced the appointment Friday.

"I look forward to the opportunity to lead a great department, work with Gov. Martinez and her administration as a strong advocate for agriculture, as well as continue the partnerships I have with the entire New Mexico State University family," Witte said in a news release.

"Most of all, however, I look forward to working with our producers, processors, transporters, and retailers who are the heart and soul of our agricultural industry and provide the economic backbone in many communities in our great state."

Witte now serves as director of the office of Agricultural Biosecurity and co-director for the Southwest Border Food Safety and Defense Center at NMSU. He served previously as NMDA's assistant director and was the director of governmental affairs and field services for the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau.

He is a graduate of Moriarty High School in Moriarty, N.M., and grew up on a ranch in northern New Mexico between Santa Fe and Las Vegas. Witte has a master's degree in agricultural economics and economics from NMSU.

"We are proud to select Jeff as the next director/secretary of NMDA and look forward to his leadership," regents chairwoman Laura Conniff said.

The director of NMDA serves as the secretary of agriculture on the governor's cabinet, but the position is filled by the NMSU regents and reports to the board and university president.

Tom Bagwell has been serving as interim secretary since the retirement of Dr. Miley Gonzalez in December 2010.

Witte will begin his new position in the coming weeks. [link]

Congratulations to Jeff and to the NMSU Regents who made an excellent selection. My condolences to Janet.

No comments: