Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Governor Nixon Names Jon Hagler Director of the MDA

Governor Jay Nixon announced his intention to appoint Dr. Jon Hagler, of St. James, Mo., to the position of Director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

Dr. Hagler, a lifelong horseman, continues to operate a small farm near St. James, where he raises, trains and sells Missouri Fox Trotters, the Missouri state horse. Over the past three years, Dr. Hagler served as Gov. Nixon’s principal adviser and liaison on agriculture issues and was instrumental in drafting the Governor's agricultural and environmental policies.

“I am honored and excited to serve as Gov. Nixon’s Director of Agriculture,” Dr. Hagler said. “Missouri agriculture is at a crossroads, and we have a real opportunity to help all our farmers and producers expand their operations and open new markets. Missouri farmers are among the most innovative and productive in the world, and I look forward to working with folks in every corner of the state to move agriculture forward.”

Dr. Hagler, 41, was raised on a horse farm in Dent County and has maintained his own operation, Cheyenne Farms, since 1997. Since 2005, Dr. Hagler has met with farmers in every corner of the state on Gov. Nixon’s behalf to learn about their operations, assess their needs and develop the Governor's agriculture policy.

Prior to becoming Gov. Nixon’s agricultural adviser on the campaign, Dr. Hagler served as the senior corporate development officer for the University of Missouri-Rolla (now, Missouri University of Science & Technology). In this capacity, Dr. Hagler served as the university’s point of contact with numerous agricultural science and research corporations and developed a comprehensive corporate-partnership strategy. From 2001 to 2003, Dr. Hagler was executive director of governmental and external affairs at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Calif.. As a key adviser and member of the president’s senior executive management team, Dr. Hagler managed international outreach and partnership programs for the university and directed all international, federal, state and local government relations. He also served as the president’s staff representative and adviser on matters concerning the university’s internationally recognized W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center.

Dr. Hagler’s tenure at Cal Poly followed several years of service on the staff of the Missouri State House of Representatives. From 2000 to 2001, Dr. Hagler was chief of staff to the Speaker, overseeing a staff of more than 300 House employees and helping define and advance the Speaker’s legislative agenda. He served as chief of staff to the Speaker Pro Tem from 1996 to 2001, as a research analyst in the Missouri Senate and in a variety of other administrative roles prior to that.

A summa cum laude graduate of Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., Dr. Hagler holds a master’s degree in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a doctorate in the same subject from Washington University in St. Louis.

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.

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