Regional
12:41 pm
Mon March 28, 2011

Candidates For NM Secretary Of Agriculture Interview In Las Cruces April 7

Las Cruces – Three candidates have been selected to interview with the New Mexico State University Board of Regents for the position of secretary/director of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture. The candidates are James Butler, Jennifer Fox and Jeff Witte.

Public forums are scheduled April 7 at 9 a.m. (Butler), 10:15 a.m. (Fox) and 1 p.m. (Witte). All forums will take place in the Anderson Hall Auditorium. The forums will be webcast to accommodate individuals unable to attend in person.

Butler serves as the senior agriculture coordinator for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. He also has served as deputy director general of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome; deputy director general of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture in San Jose, Costa Rica; deputy undersecretary for marketing and regulatory, farm and foreign agriculture program areas in the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.; deputy vice chancellor for agriculture and life sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas; and executive vice president for the National Wool Growers Association. Butler has a Ph.D. in animal physiology from the University of Arizona.

Fox is dean of the College of Agriculture at California State University, Chico. She also has served as vice president of regulatory affairs and technical development at AgraQuest Inc. in Davis, Calif., as well as regional regulatory affairs manager for FMC Corp.'s southern region in Philadelphia. Fox also was director of regulatory and environmental affairs for the Western Crop Protection Association in Sacramento, Calif. She has a Ph.D. in agronomy and horticulture from NMSU.

Witte is director of the Office of Agricultural Biosecurity and co-director of the Southwest Border Food Safety and Defense Center at NMSU. He has served previously as NMDA's assistant director/deputy secretary, and was director of governmental affairs and field services for the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau. Witte also has served as a research specialist for the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at NMSU. He has a master's in agricultural economics from NMSU.

Lowell Catlett, dean of New Mexico State's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, chaired the 16-member search committee that recommended the candidates to the Regents.

The Board of Regents will make its selection at an upcoming public meeting of the board. More information on the candidates, is available at http://www.nmsu.edu/nmdadssearch/index.html.