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Tom Zimnicki joins MDARD as Senior Environmental Policy Advisor

For immediate release: September 14, 2021
Media contact: Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724

LANSING, MI - Tom Zimnicki is joining the team at the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) effective Monday, September 20 as the Senior Environmental Policy Advisor to MDARD Director Gary McDowell. 

In this role, Zimnicki will assist and advise the department in planning, coordinating, and ensuring steps are taken to implement environmental initiatives affecting MDARD and Michigan's $104.7 billion food and agriculture industry. Michigan's farming and agriculture communities are committed to adopting practices to protect the state's prized natural resources. He will work on key issues such as improving water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin, nutrient run-off, and climate change, as well as advise the director on developing policy recommendations.

Prior to joining MDARD, Zimnicki worked at the Michigan Environmental Council where he broadly focused on the policy intersections of agriculture and water quality. He served on Michigan's Water Use Advisory Council, Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program Advisory Council, and Michigan's Generally Accepted Agricultural Management Practices Task Force. He also serves on the Board of Michigan Agriculture Advancement and co-founded the Rural Michigan Initiative in collaboration with Alma College to elevate human and environmental issues in rural communities. 

Zimnicki holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Adrian College, a Master of Science degree in environmental science and a Master of Public Affairs degree from Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs. An Allen Park native, Tom and his wife, Meg, are foster parents in Lansing.