Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles was elected president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) at its annual meeting Thursday.
Quarles says he is grateful to his counterparts in the other states for selecting him to serve as president of the national agriculture organization. He went on to say 2020 has been a challenging year for all industries, but especially our agriculture sector. In this role, Quarles adds he will focus on expanding international trade, reducing food insecurity, and building partnerships to support farmer-veterans and limited resource producers. He says as Kentucky’s commissioner of agriculture, he will always have the interest of Kentucky farm families at heart while leading the national ag organization.
Commissioner Quarles is the first Kentucky agriculture commissioner to be elected president or hold office with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture since Billy Ray Smith, who served as president of the national organization in 2001-2002. Last year, Quarles was also elected 2019-2020 president of the Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture, a regional offshoot of the national organization.
He said under his leadership, the national agriculture organization will be doubling down on agriculture’s tradition of innovation and resilience.
Quarles was first elected Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner in November 2015, and was re-elected in November 2019, winning 117 of the state’s 120 counties.