A northeast Missouri farmer has been tapped by Republican Governor-elect Eric Greitens as the state’s next Department of Agriculture director. Chris Chinn will replace Richard Fordyce, who was appointed to the position in 2013 by Democratic Governor Jay Nixon.

Chris Chinn

Chinn and her husband are fifth-generation farmers who raise hogs, cattle, corn, soybeans and hay on their farm in Clarence.

She frequently writes and speaks on behalf of farmers and was one of the 2013 U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance Faces of Farming and Ranching. The program chooses farmers to represent the agriculture industry by having a public dialogue about food production.

Greitens, who has touted himself as a political outsider, also calls Chinn an outsider.

“Chris is a fighter who cares deeply about our farmer’s because she is one. She’s fought hard for her family farm and for the tradition it represents,” says Greitens. “Not everyone recognizes the important role of agriculture in Missouri. Activists and bureaucrats have attacked our farmers and ranchers. They’ve come after our family farms with crippling regulations (from Washington to Jeff City), reckless lawsuits, and political threats.”

In a press release, Greitens says they are both deeply committed to making Missouri a national leader in food production.

“We need to double world food production in the next generation. Missouri’s farmers and ranchers can lead the way,” says Greitens.

Chinn’s appointment requires confirmation by the state Senate.

Greitens, a Republican, will be sworn into office on January 9.