Gov. Jay Nixon has appointed Richard Fordyce of Bethany to take over the Missouri Department of Agriculture immediately. Harry Bozoian, who has served as acting director, has been named deputy director.
In a written statement, Nixon described Fordyce as a fourth-generation farmer who’s held leadership roles in agriculture on the local, state and national levels. Since 2008, Fordyce has served as chair of the state Soil and Water Districts Commission. He also operates a family farm in Harrison County in northwestern Missouri.
Fordyce replaces Jon Hagler, who resigned in October after a former employee accused him of creating a hostile work environment. Hagler is on record as saying he was a “tough but fair” manager. Fordyce’s appointment is temporary, as he’ll also need to be confirmed by the Missouri Senate.