Senator Carol Martin has successfully carried Governor Frank Keating's nomination for Dennis Howard to serve another five-year term as a member of the State Board of Agriculture. That nomination won full Senate approval Thursday.
"Dennis Howard is a native of Waurika, and has served all of Oklahoma well in his duties within the Department of Agriculture. He has aggressively sought new ways to promote agriculture in our state and help our producers find new markets," said Senator Martin, R-Comanche.
Dennis Howard serves as Governor Keating's Secretary and Commissioner of Agriculture, and oversees several agencies, including the State Board of Agriculture, Forest Fire Protection, Sheep and Wool Commission, the Wheat Commission, in addition to numerous other commissions.
"Agriculture is a tremendous part of Oklahoma's rich history; many of those who settled here came to farm or to ranch and it remains one of the most important parts of our economy and our identity. Dennis Howard has done a wonderful job in his duties as Secretary and Commissioner of Agriculture and that sentiment was echoed several times by various Senators before voting for his re-nomination," said Senator Martin.
"I appreciate the vote of confidence today, and the support of Senator Carol Martin and the Agriculture and Rural Development committee. We have made great strides in the Department of Agriculture's services, including the Rural Firefighters program, Animal Damage Control, Made in Oklahoma, promoting Oklahoma grown and processed food products and our ag diversification program helping find new markets for Oklahoma farmers. We've also started an Agriculture Hall of Fame for some of our farming pioneers, and as well as an Oklahoma Forestry Hall of Fame. We also began a food safety division, which was approved by the legislature last session and began operating last July. I'm very pleased to have the teamwork of the Senate and House committees in supporting our agency and helping us achieve so much during my tenure," said Howard.
In addition to thanking Senator Martin, Commissioner Howard also extended his appreciation to Senator Bruce Price and Senator Paul Muegge for their support as chairman and vice-chairman of the committee overseeing agriculture.