Box Elder commissioner named state agriculture chief

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 9:18 AM

Tim Gurrister, Standard-Examiner Staff

BRIGHAM CITY — With LuAnn Adams' elevation to statewide office, local Republicans next month will begin the process of finding a replacement on the Box Elder County Commission.

Adams has served on the three-member commission since 2011, campaigning successfully in the 2010 election after 16 years as county recorder/clerk.

Gov. Gary Herbert on Friday named Adams as commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. She replaces the retiring Leonard Blackham, pending confirmation by the state Senate.

The 120-plus member County Republican Central Committee will assemble likely late next month to hear from hopefuls vying to replace Adams, said Scott Ericson, county personnel director. Their nominee will be presented to the county commission for final approval.

The central committee is comprised of the Republican chairs and vice-chairs of the approximately 50 voting precincts in the county, the county party’s executive committee, plus all elected Republican county office-holders, he said.

Ericson said county officials became aware of how far Adams had progressed in her bid for the state post upon learning she was among the three finalists interviewed for the position Dec. 13.

“LuAnn brings the right mix of understanding of the agriculture industry and critical leaderships skills,” the governor said in announcing his new ag commissioner. “Throughout the process, I heard from numerous stakeholders that she is the right kind of hands-on leader we need.”

He listed her credentials to include overseeing Box Elder’s $30 million budget. She implemented a Business Resource Center at Utah State University, as well as the Business Extension and Retention Program to manage and grow local business. By collaborating with various stakeholders, she helped resolve Bureau of Land Management grazing issues. As recorder, Adams designed Box Elder County’s online Property Information System and headed up the Geographic Information Systems.

Adams chaired the West Box Elder County Coordinated Resource Management Plan charged with responsible use and conservation of natural resources.

With her husband and sons, Adams operates a dry farm and cattle ranch in Promontory.

“I am honored and humbled to have been chosen as the commissioner of Agriculture and appreciate Governor Herbert’s vote of confidence,” said Adams. “I am excited about the opportunity to help agriculture shine as a key asset for our state.”

Contact reporter Tim Gurrister at 801-625-4238, Follow him on Twitter at @tgurrister.

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