Gov. Jay Nixon today named Richard Fordyce, of Bethany, as the new director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Fordyce and his wife, Renee, grow soybeans and corn as well as raise beef cattle on the family farm in Harrison County. Since 2008, he has also served as chairman of the Missouri State Soil & Water Districts Commission. The Governor made the announcement with Fordyce at the row crop farm of Lanny Frakes, in southern Buchanan County.
“In addition to being a fourth-generation Missouri farmer, Richard Fordyce has held leadership roles in agriculture on the local, state and national level for more than 20 years,” Nixon said. “His experience and understanding of rural Missouri have earned him the respect of his fellow farmers, and I am pleased to appoint him to lead the state agency that works hand in hand with the Show-Me State’s agricultural community.”
Fordyce will take over leadership of the department from Harry Bozoian, who has served as acting director since October. Bozoian, who joined the Governor and Fordyce at today’s announcement, will remain with the Department of Agriculture as Deputy Director.
“With his strong background in promoting and protecting Missouri’s agricultural interests during his 20 years in state government, Harry served very capably as acting Agriculture Director, and I appreciate his steady hand in leading this agency,” Nixon said.
Fordyce received the 2012 Soil Conservationist of the Year award from the Conservation Federation of Missouri. He has held leadership positions with the Harrison County Farm Bureau, including serving as its president from 1993 to 2010, and has been involved on various boards and committees of the Missouri Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Other organizations that Fordyce has held leadership positions in include the National Biodiesel Board, the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, Agricultural Leaders of Tomorrow, University of Missouri Extension, Northwest Missouri State Fair, and Future Farmers of America. He is one of only three directors from Missouri on the United Soybean Board.
He has served his community as a member of the South Harrison R-II School Board, on the Green Hills Regional Planning Commission, on the Sherman Township board of trustees, and on the Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri. Fordyce also has served on advisory groups to Cong. Sam Graves and former U.S. Senators Kit Bond and Jim Talent.
The Director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture determines department policy and serves as a liaison to state legislators, the agriculture community and the public. In addition to the divisions of Business Development, Animal Health, Grain Inspection and Warehousing, Plant Industries and Weights and Measures, the Department of Agriculture also includes the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority, the Missouri State Fair Board, the State Milk Board and the Missouri Wine and Grape Board.
The Director is appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the State Senate. Fordyce will begin his duties as director immediately.