Tyler Harper taps transition leadership for Department of Agriculture

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner-elect Tyler Harper on Monday announced his senior leadership team to transition into office next month. His transition team will assist with crafting legislative goals, hiring administration staff, establishing policy agendas, and more.

“We promised the voters of this state that we would get to work on day one to fight for our farmers, producers and consumers, advance our state’s number one industry, and deliver the most efficient and effective Department of Agriculture in state history — and that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” Harper said. “I am tremendously grateful for this team of advisors who have stepped up to help guide our transition and ensure our administration gets off to a strong start.”

Harper’s committee co-chairs will be Jay Roberts and Sydne Smith. Roberts is a former state Representative who has served as a mentor to Harper throughout his career. He is a farmer, veterinarian and agribusiness leader. Smith is a current staffer for U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler and held leadership roles in the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Department of Agriculture and in former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue. 

Other transition team members include: Jessica Perdue, Jenna Saxon, Billy Kirkland, Stephen Lawson, Denise Deal, Chris Riley, Chip Starnes, and Dominic LaRiccia.

“Over the coming weeks, this team will help put our plan to lower costs for families, invest in the next generation of agriculture, enhance the lives of our consumers and build on the success of our state’s number one industry into action — and I look forward to working with them to accomplish that and more over the years to come,” Harper said.

Harper is a current state Senator and a timber, cotton and peanut farmer from Georgia’s Irwin County northeast of Tifton. He won election in November with nearly 53% of the vote over two additional candidates, Democrat Nakita Hemingway who received just under 45% of the vote and Libertarian David Raudabaugh who brought in just over 2% of the vote.

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