Alabama Agriculture and Industries Commissioner Rick Pate will seek reelection next year.
Pate, 66, was first elected to the post in 2018, defeating fellow Republican rivals.
In a written statement, Pate said during his first term the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries has implemented the statewide branding program, Sweet Grown Alabama, increased funding for the Alabama Farm to School Program, successfully administered Alabama’s first industrial hemp program, and helped farmers navigate the COVID-19 pandemic
“It has been an absolute honor to serve as your Commissioner of Agriculture & Industries,” Pate said. “In my first term we accomplished so much, but more work is to be done. This includes keeping our food supply safe, abundant, and sustainable while helping our farmers and rural communities prosper. The agriculture stakeholders have been wonderful partners with me over the past few years.”
Prior to his statewide election, Pate was mayor of Lowndesboro. The former business owner and farmer is the first announced candidate for the ag commissioner.
Candidates for state office can now start fundraising in advance of the May 24, 2022 primary.
The Department of Agriculture and Industries provides inspection and grading services to the agriculture industry, issues various permits and licenses and performs laboratory and diagnostic services related to agricultural commodities.
In 2021, it had total appropriations of more than $60 million. It has more than 500 employees.