The folks at the Farm Bureau banquet heard what they wanted to hear tonight.
Appearing at the Tennessee Farm Bureau's annual banquet tonight in Franklin, Tennessee Gov.-elect Bill Haslam announced Julius Johnson, the organization's chief administrative officer, as his commissioner of the Department of Agriculture when he takes office next year.
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is responsible for animal and plant health, food safety, pesticide regulation, state forest regulation and agribusiness development.
“Julius is a perfect fit for the Department of Agriculture,” Haslam said. “He’s been around farming and the Tennessee Farm Bureau all of his life, and he understands the issues inside and out.
“If Tennessee is to become the No. 1 location in the Southeast for jobs, its largest industry – agriculture – must play a part in that, and Julius knows where the advantages are in rural Tennessee,” Haslam added.
Johnson has been the chief administrative officer for the Tennessee Farm Bureau for the past 15 years and has worked at the organization for 37 years.
A native of Forbus, Tenn., Johnson was a beef cattle farmer. He is the president-elect of the Middle Tennessee Boy Scout Council, sits on the board of directors of the Maury County Boys & Girls Club and is a Kiwanian in Columbia. He has a B.S. in agriculture from the University of Tennessee.
Johnson is Gov.-elect Haslam’s fourth appointment but the first commissioner appointed.
“I am honored and humbled to serve my home state with Gov.-elect Haslam, and I am extremely impressed with the team he’s putting together,” Johnson said. “The opportunities are tremendous but so are the challenges, and I will work hard to express the concerns of rural Tennessee.”
Johnson, 62, is married to Karen, and he has a son, Matthew, and a daughter, Mary Ella Lettiere.