Meet the Director

MDARD Director Gary McDowell head shotGary McDowell was appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in December 2018. Prior to becoming Director, Mr. McDowell served three terms in the Michigan House of Representatives from 2005-2010.

Mr. McDowell was born and raised on a farm in Rudyard, Michigan. He owns and operates a family business with his brothers, McDowell Brothers Farm and McDowell Hay Incorporated, and brokers hay sales from the eastern Upper Peninsula to markets around the nation. He is the oldest of 10 children. Prior to serving in the legislature, McDowell was a member of the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners for 22 years. Gary was also a United Parcel Service delivery driver for 30 years and was a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician for 18 years.

Mr. McDowell attended Lake Superior State University. He and his wife, Carrie, have three daughters.