Gov. Inslee Picks Okanogan Rancher as New Ag Director
OLYMPIA – Governor Jay Inslee today announced his latest round of cabinet appointments, naming directors for the state departments of Agriculture, Early Learning and Health.
Okanogan rancher Bud Hover will become the director of the Department of Agriculture. Hover is a former Okanogan County Commissioner and current chair of the state Salmon Recovery Board. His family runs a 2,300-acre hay and cattle ranch in Winthrop.
“Agriculture is one of Washington’s most significant cultural and economic cornerstones,” said Inslee. “Bud’s experience as a rancher and his work on issues from water to wildlife will be invaluable in further growing this vital industry.”
Inslee also praised the outgoing director of Agriculture, Dan Newhouse.
“Dan is held in high regard for his adept leadership, and deservedly so,” said Inslee. “He’s helped steer this department and this industry through some challenging times. I thank him for all his service.”
Newhouse wanted to stay on as director, but now will have to leave on Apr. 1st. He plans to return to his home in Sunnyside and return to farming. Inslee is reappointing Dr. Bette Hyde to continue serving as director of the state’s Department of Early Learning.
The governor is appointing John Wiesman to head the Department of Health, replacing Mary Selecky who recently announced her retirement. Wiesman is currently Public Health Director for Clark County Public Health and on the board of the National Association of County and City Health Officials. He has more than 25 years of experience working on HIV/AIDS issues and public health.