Governor McDonnell Appoints Delegate Matt Lohr as Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
RICHMOND– Governor Bob McDonnell today appointed Harrisonburg Delegate Matt Lohr to serve as the Commonwealth's next Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Lohr is a three–term Republican Delegate representing Harrisonburg and sections of Rockingham County.
Speaking about the appointment, Governor McDonnell noted, "Matt understands the importance of agriculture to Virginia's economy. Virginia's farms don't just grow food; they also provide critically important jobs and revenue for our Commonwealth. I want an aggressive, experienced leader to head up the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. It is a crucial agency to the future prosperity of our state. Matt's background in farming, his service in Richmond as a delegate, and his commitment to the citizens of the Commonwealth make him the perfect individual to take on this important position. I thank Matt for agreeing to continue to serve Virginia in this new capacity."
"Matt will be an outstanding VDACS Commissioner," said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd P. Haymore, who is also a former VDACS Commissioner. "With his extensive farming and agricultural–related regulatory experience, he will bring a unique perspective to the post. His background will also complement the domestic and global marketing and development efforts that Governor McDonnell and I are focusing on to help create jobs and more opportunities for our agricultural and forestry producers."
Matt Lohr remarked, "I'm deeply honored to be joining the McDonnell administration as Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. I have been passionate about agriculture my entire life and have enjoyed being an advocate for it, whether it's through my work on the family farm or from my seat in the House of Delegates. I look forward to continuing those efforts as Commissioner, and I'm very excited about working with Governor McDonnell and Secretary Haymore to support their efforts to promote agriculture, the state's leading industry."
About Matt Lohr
Matt Lohr is currently serving in his third term in the Virginia House of Delegates. Matt was first elected in November 2005 to represent the 26th District. His district includes the City of Harrisonburg and northern portions of Rockingham County. He serves on three House Committees: Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources, Finance, and Counties, Cities, and Towns.
Matt Lohr is a life–long resident of Rockingham County. He was born and raised on a designated "Century Farm," meaning the land has been in his family for over 100 years. Matt graduated from Broadway High School where he was very active in the FFA organization. In 1990, Matt served as the state FFA president and in 1991 was national FFA vice president. During his years of service, he deferred college and traveled the country representing the 400,000 members nationwide.
After graduating from Virginia Tech in 1995 with a degree in agricultural education, he returned back to his roots. Matt, along with his wife Andrea, joined his family's farming operation and immediately got involved in serving his community. In 1996, his family won the Harrisonburg–Rockingham County Farm Stewardship Award.
Matt also spent two years teaching Agricultural Science in Shenandoah County and Andrea spent four years teaching Agricultural Science in Rockingham County. In May of 2005, Andrea graduated from JMU with a master's degree in school counseling.
Throughout the years, Matt has worked diligently to serve others and make his community a better place. He served as president of the Broadway–Timberville Ruritan Club, served as president of the Rockingham County Farm Bureau twice, chaired the Rockingham County Planning Commission, and most recently chaired the Rockingham County School Board. Matt and his family are also active members and leaders at Harrisonburg Baptist Church.
Matt and Andrea have two children: Caroline Belle, born in 2001 and Carson Jacob, who was born in 2005.
About the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is responsible for over 60 laws and more than 70 regulations relating to consumer protection and the promotion of agriculture. It is part of the Agriculture and Forestry Secretariat and organized into four units, the Commissioner's Office, Division of Animal and Food Industry Services (AFIS), Division of Consumer Protection, and Division of Marketing. The Agency consists of over 500 employees in offices throughout Virginia and in Hong Kong.
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