|Don "Bud" Hover
OLYMPIA - Former Okanogan County Commissioner Don "Bud" Hover has been named director of the state Department of Agriculture.
Gov. Jay Inslee announced the appointment March 12.
Hover said he initially expressed an interest in serving on the Northwest Power Council and interviewed with Inslee's staff. He was asked if he would consider serving in another capacity, and later was asked about the agriculture job.
Hover, 57, said he initially said no, then reconsidered. He met with Inslee and was offered the job March 8.
Hover said he and his wife, Tonya, plan to spend their time between Olympia and their hay ranch in Winthrop. Their son, Wes, will operate the ranch.
"Agriculture is one of Washington's most significant cultural and economic cornerstones," Inslee said. "Bud's experience as a rancher and his work on issues from water to wildlife will be invaluable in further growing this vital industry."
Hover said he wants to be an advocate for agriculture and provide information about the industry to Inslee.
Hover succeeds Dan Newhouse.
"Dan is held in high regard for his adept leadership, and deservedly so," said Inslee, who chose to replace Newhouse. "He's helped steer this department and this industry through some challenging times. I thank him for all his service."
Hover also is chairman of the state Salmon Recovery Board.
His appointment as agriculture director must be confirmed by the state Senate.