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Whitmer names new Michigan agriculture director

Michigan Department of Agriculture Director-designate Timothy Boring.
Michigan Executive Office of the Governor
Michigan Department of Agriculture Director-designate Timothy Boring.

The state’s top federal agriculture official will join Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s cabinet to lead the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Timothy Boring will leave his position as theMichigan executive director of the USDA Farm Service Agency to join the Whitmer administration. He has held the USDA job under the Biden administration since 2021.

“At MDARD, I am confident that he will lead admirably, working to support farmers, grow Michigan’s mighty agricultural industry, protect our natural resources, and power rural economic development,” Whitmer said in a statement announcing the appointment.

Agriculture is a nearly $105 billion industry in Michigan.

Boring has worked for a succession of agribusiness organizations, including Michigan Agriculture Advancement. His USDA biography says he created the organization “dedicated to improving the economic, environmental, and social state of Michigan agriculture.”

Boring comes from an agricultural family which has operated a grain farm in Stockbridge for six generations. He is a former Whitmer-appointed member of the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development, which helps develop the policies carried out by the department. He also has a doctorate in crop and soil sciences from Michigan State University.

“There are tremendous opportunities ahead of us to make meaningful progress improving climate resiliency, water quality, rural economies, and access to safe and nutritious food, and I look forward to serving within the Whitmer administration to advance these priorities,” Boring said in a statement.

The agriculture department director appointment is subject to state Senate approval. That’s not expected to be a problem since Whitmer is a Democrat and the Senate is controlled by Democrats.

The only remaining Whitmer cabinet vacancy is a permanent director of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

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Rick Pluta is the managing editor for the Michigan Public Radio Network.
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