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Keith Creagh named DNR director, Jamie Clover Adams to head MDARD

Monday, June 25, 2012

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the appointment of state Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Keith Creagh as director of the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and state Department of Environmental Quality's Policy and Legislative Affairs Director Jamie Clover Adams as MDARD director.

"Keith is a natural choice to become our next DNR director," Snyder said. "He has a strong understanding of Michigan's conservation, economic and environmental needs, vast experience and ability to bring people together, and a love of our state's great outdoors that will make for a seamless transition.

"Michigan's food and agriculture industry is one of the most important to our state's economy, and Jamie has the experience, knowledge and skills to provide the necessary leadership to assure Michigan food and agriculture continues to play a prominent role in our state's economic recovery. She will be an excellent director for MDARD. I thank them both for their willingness to serve."

Creagh has extensive management experience, including policy development, strategic planning and operational leadership. He has served as MDARD director since January 2011, and was director of industry affairs for the Neogen Corp. after serving for 30 years within the state department of agriculture. He holds a bachelor's degree in forestry from Michigan Technological University and is an avid outdoorsman.

"I am honored to serve as director of the Department of Natural Resources and to work with such a dedicated group of professionals," Creagh said. "I will strive to uphold the department's great standard of excellence and build upon its past successes. As a lifelong outdoor enthusiast, I understand the importance of the state's natural resources to Michigan citizens. Hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and other outdoor pursuits are not just hobbies in this state. They are a defining part of who we are as Michiganders."

Gordon Guyer, former director of both DNR and the Department of Agriculture, called Creagh's appointment "outstanding."

"I've had the privilege of working with Keith both as Ag Director and as a Neogen board member. He is uniquely qualified for this position and I can't think of a better fit to take the helm at DNR," Guyer said. "He has a tremendous ability to take a tough issue and build consensus. Keith's passion for our natural resources, tourism and agriculture industries will help us revitalize and reinvent Michigan."

Clover Adams replaces Creagh, after having served as the state Department of Environmental Quality's Policy and Legislative Affairs director since 2011.

She said it's a great opportunity to support the governor's agriculture agenda.

"I am honored to serve the people of Michigan and am anxious to get to work to meet Gov. Snyder's goals for agriculture," Clover Adams said. "We will strive to double our exports, work to significantly increase farm verifications and help grow the value chain from farm to fork."

Clover Adams has decades of experience both in working with the agriculture industry and in legislative policy development, notably serving as secretary of the Kansas state Department of Agriculture from 1999-2003. Before joining DEQ, she was deputy chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, and served as director of the Senate Majority Policy Office before that. Clover Adams was raised on a farm in Michigan, and holds a master's in public policy from Georgetown University and a bachelor's in general studies from the University of Michigan.

"Jamie has great vision and leadership capacity," Creagh said. "Her experience makes her well suited to become MDARD's next director." 

Creagh fills the vacancy of outgoing DNR director Rodney Stokes, who was recently named by Snyder as special adviser for city placemaking, where he will work to help cities become more vibrant and inviting by enhancing their existing resources.

Both appointments are effective July 9.

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