Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development

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Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
Agency overview
Formed 1921
Headquarters Lansing, Michigan
Employees 429 (2013 Fiscal Yr)
Annual budget $76.9 million (2013 Fiscal Yr)[1]
Ministers responsible Bob Kennedy, Commission Chair
Diane Hanson, Commission Vice Chair
Trever Meachum, Commissioner Secretary
Donald Coe, Commissioner
Fred Walcott, Commissioner
Agency executives Jamie Clover Adams, Director
Gordon Wenk, Chief Deputy Director
Website www.michigan.gov/mdard

Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development, formerly the Michigan Department of Agriculture is a department of the Michigan state government created in 1921 to enforce laws regarding agriculture production and distribution. Agriculture in the State of Michigan is now a $91.4 billion industry.[2] A five-member commission head the Department with a Director of Agriculture & Rural Development to administer the day-to-day activities. Under Governor Rick Snyder, MDARD is now part of the "Quality of Life" group within state government, along with the Department of Natural Resources and Department of Environmental Quality.[3]

The mission of the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development is, "To protect, promote and preserve the food, agricultural, environmental and economic interests of the people of Michigan."

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has six divisions, which work to cultivate and expand new economic opportunities for the food and agricultural sector; safeguard the public’s food supply; inspect and enforce sound animal health practices; control and eradicate plant pests and diseases threatening the food and agriculture system; preserve the environment by which the farming community makes their living and feeds consumers; and protect consumers by enforcing laws relating to weights and measures


Along with a proposed merger of the Department of Environmental Quality and Department of Natural Resources, in 2009 former Governor Jennifer Granholm issued an Executive Order making the Department's Director appointed by the Governor instead of the Agriculture Commission.[4] In 2011, current Governor Rick Snyder renamed the department to Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, giving it an expanded mission in the rural areas to include economic, social, and educational.[5]

Director of
Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
Appointer Governor of Michigan[4]
Formation 1921
Website michigan.gov/Meet The Director


  • Animal Industry Division
  • Food and Dairy Division
  • Laboratory Division
  • Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division
  • Environmental Stewardship Division
  • Office of Agriculture Development
  • Operational Services and Central Licensing Division
  • MDARD Executive Office
  • Human Resources is now part of Quality of Life Group HR Division[6]

Boards and Councils[edit]

  • Pesticide Advisory Committee (PAC)
  • Michigan Agricultural Tourism Advisory Commission
  • Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council
  • Michigan Food Policy Council (MFPC)
  • Michigan Organic Advisory Committee
  • Commercialization Roundtable
  • Michigan Wheat Committee

The Office of Racing Commissioner[edit]

Racing Commissioner
Michigan Department of Agriculture
Final holder Patricia A. Lockwood, acting
Abolished 1/17/2010[7]

Executive Order No. 2009 — 45 signed on October 8, 2009 transfer the duties of the Racing Commissioner from MDARD to the Michigan Gaming Control Board and abolishes the office effective January 17, 2010.[7]


  1. ^ "Appropriations: 2010-2011 Agriculture budget". michigan.gov w ebsite. State of Michigan. 2008-03-06. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  2. ^ http://www.michiganradio.org/post/msu-report-shows-agriculture-contributed-914-billion-michigan-economy
  3. ^ Luke, Peter. "Gov.-elect Snyder says environmental departments will focus on "quality of life"". MLive.com. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Governor Granholm Issues EO on Agriculture, DNR; Recommits to Gubernatorial Appointment of Directors". michigan.gov. December 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-01. 
  5. ^ a b "AP Interview: Ag director takes on rural mission in Michigan". Flint Journal. The Associated Press. February 12, 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "MDARD Divisions" (PDF). michigan.gov website. State of Michigan. June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-08. 
  7. ^ a b "Horse racing industry undergoes changes, Sports Creek Raceway attendance declines". Swartz Creek News. Booth Newspapers. 2009-10-16. Retrieved 2009-10-21.