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Gary Black, Georgia’s agriculture commissioner since 2011, announced June 4 that he is running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Raphael Warnock. Black’s decision means Georgians will elect a new agriculture commissioner in 2022. He will continue to serve as ag commissioner through the remainder of his current term.

During Black’s decade as agriculture commissioner, the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) has revamped and expanded its Georgia Grown program to promote Georgia commodities and the food products made from them by Georgia companies. Many of these businesses began in the past 10 years.

The GDA divisions for information technology, animal health, homeland security and food safety have been modernized to protect Georgia’s food supply.

As head of the GDA, Black has overseen the department’s budget that includes state and federal funds that approaches about $70 million annually and approximately 525 employees.