Ted Sloan, KY Dept. of Ag

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles announced that Brent Burchett of Murray will serve as director of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's Division of Value-Added Plant Production.

"It's exciting to see our leadership team continue to take shape, and Brent's agricultural expertise will be an asset to the Department," Commissioner Quarles said. "His experience with the Soybean Board, his family farm, and leading the Livestock Coalition has bridged many aspects of agriculture, making him a valuable team member."

Brent most recently served as program director for the Kentucky Soybean Promotion Board and Kentucky Soybean Association. His duties included monitoring policy and regulatory issues, developing water quality research programs, and managing outreach initiatives to connect farmers with consumers. He also led the Kentucky Livestock Coalition, an alliance of the state's veterinary, livestock, poultry, and grain associations.

Brent's family has farmed in Calloway County for three generations. He is a graduate of the Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program, served on the West Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Grassroots Committee, and was a representative on the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service State Extension Advisory Council.

Prior to joining the Soybean Board, Brent worked on local government policy at the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a bachelor's degree from the College of Agriculture and a master's degree from the Martin School for Public Policy and Administration.

"Fighting for Kentucky farmers is my passion, and it's truly an honor to serve under Commissioner Quarles," said Brent. "He will be a champion for our agricultural way of life and will bring the type of hands-on, collaborative leadership that farmers in this state deserve."

In his new role with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Brent will work with farmers in the Organic Marketing and other Value-Added Plant Production programs.