Governor-elect Jay Nixon’s choice to be the new State Agriculture Director comes to the position with a background a bit different that past directors.
State Agriculture Director nominee Jon Hagler served as the farm policy advisor on the Nixon campaign. He operates a small Missouri Fox Trotter farm near St. James, yet doesn’t see that background in niche agriculture as an impediment in relating to traditional farmers.
"Agriculture is a family," Hagler says, "The key to success, I believe, is for us to have an open dialogue, a positive dialogue and move together as a family on priorities."
Hagler says he wants to work with the legislature to open new agricultural markets.
Hagler served as senior corporate development officer for Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla after serving the president of California State Polytechnic University in Pomona for two years.
He also served as former Democratic House Speaker Jim Kreider’s Chief of Staff in 2000 and 2001.
"I don’t think it certainly hurts having some experience in the legislative process," says Hagler, "We’re going to face some tough budget times. We’re going to face some new ideas and some wonderful priorities for agriculture. Knowledge of that process and helping move that forward I think will be of benefit."
Hagler is a graduate of Truman State with a master’s degree in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a doctorate in the subject from Washington University in St. Louis.
His nomination must be confirmed by the Senate.