Youngkin appoints agriculture secretary and department commissioner

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Matthew Lohr and Joseph Guthrie have backgrounds with USDA Farming

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January 5, 2022




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Photo by Matt Lohr Courtesy of the United States Department of Agriculture

Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin announced Tuesday that he had chosen Matthew “Matt” Lohr as Secretary of State for Agriculture and Forestry and Joseph “Joe” Guthrie as commissioner of the Virginia Agriculture and Consumer Services Department.

“Agriculture… plays a critical role in the economy and communities of Virginia. Matt and Joseph bring decades of hands-on experience that will give Virginia a competitive edge in the agriculture industry, ”Youngkin said in a statement.

Lohr was agency chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, which has an operating budget of more than $ 4.5 billion and more than 10,000 employees. in 3,000 offices.

Previously, he was commissioner of the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and prior to that, he served in the House of Delegates from 2006 to 2010.

Lohr has also been a farm credit director for the Virginias Knowledge Center, a college agroscience professor, director of his leadership development company, and president of his family’s farm, Valley Pike Farm Inc. He is a fifth-grade farmer. generation.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech and worked as a state and national officer for the FFA (formerly known as the Future Farmers of America).

Guthrie has served on the Virginia Cattle Industry Board of the State Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as appointed by former Governor Bob McDonnell and on the USDA Beef Research and Promotion Council as appointed by the Secretary from the Tom Vilsack department.

He is a senior instructor at Virginia Tech. Since 2007 he has been teaching as part of his agricultural technology program. He also owns and operated a beef cattle and hay farm in Pulaski County.

Guthrie served as Chairman of the Pulaski County Board of Directors in 2020 and 2021. He was first elected to the Board of Directors in 2015. Prior to that, he served a four-year term on the County School Board .

Guthrie has served as president of the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Faculty Association, president of the Pulaski County Farm Bureau, and president of the Virginia Cattlemen’s Association.

He holds a BA from Virginia Tech and an MA in Agricultural Economics and International Business from Massey University in New Zealand, where he studied as a Fulbright Fellow. In 2007, he won the Eisenhower Fellowship in Agriculture to research the international beef trade from Australia and New Zealand.


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