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(Jefferson City) – On Thursday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon named Richard Fordyce, of Bethany, as the new director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

Fordyce will take over leadership of the department from Harry Bozoian, who has served as acting director since October. Bozoian will remain with the Department of Agriculture as Deputy Director.

Fordyce received the 2012 Soil Conservationist of the Year award from the Conservation Federation of Missouri, and has held leadership positions with the Harrison County Farm Bureau, including serving as its president from 1993 to 2010, and has been involved on various boards and committees of the Missouri Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Fordyce has alsp held leadership positions in include the National Biodiesel Board, the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, Agricultural Leaders of Tomorrow, University of Missouri Extension, Northwest Missouri State Fair, and Future Farmers of America. He has also been a member of the South Harrison R-II School Board, on the Green Hills Regional Planning Commission, on the Sherman Township board of trustees, and on the Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri.

The Director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture determines department policy and serves as a liaison to state legislators, the agriculture community and the public. The Director is appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the State Senate. Fordyce will begin his duties as Director immediately.

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