State agriculture commissioner named

Don Brown, a third-generation farmer who’s been involved with a number of industry issues, has been appointed state agriculture commissioner.

Brown succeeds John Salazar, who retired after serving four years.

“We are fortunate to welcome Don Brown to the team and thrilled to add his experience and leadership to Colorado’s thriving agriculture industry,” said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. “Agriculture is a critical sector for our economy, contributing $40 billion and providing nearly 173,000 jobs annually. Having Don at the helm, we know agriculture across Colorado will continue to grow.”

Brown will lead the Colorado Department of Agriculture and its operations and programs, He’ll direct  300 employees, and  oversee seven divisions: animal health, brand inspection, Colorado State Fair, conservation services, inspection and consumer services, markets and plant industry.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to have an opportunity to work with Gov. Hickenlooper and the Department of Agriculture. To be able to contribute to the industry which I have so greatly benefited from is incredibly rewarding,” Brown said. “I have lived the life of those who the commissioner is to serve, and I am committed to doing all I can to see that the industry continues to grow and that farmers and ranchers have every opportunity to succeed.”

A third-generation farmer in Yuma County, Brown has run several businesses while spending most of his career managing and growing his family’s extensive farm operations. He’s also been active in water conservation, energy development and technology innovation issues within the industry.

Brown is a recipient of the Bill Seward Memorial Award for lifetime achievement for a cattle producer. He’s active in state and national cattlemen’s and corn growers associations. He also has served as president of the Yuma County Cattlemen’s Association and state president of the Future Farmers of America.

Brown holds degrees from Northeastern Junior College as well as Colorado State University.