(Salt Lake City) – Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) Interim Commissioner Kerry Gibson has appointed Leann Hunting to serve as director of Animal Industry.
“Leann is a trusted and multi-talented expert in the agriculture industry,” said Gibson. “Her background managing a successful cattle operation in Utah and Wyoming, coupled with her leadership and communications experience, make her a valuable add to our team.”
Hunting comes to UDAF from Utah Department of Natural Resources where she worked in the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands as the communications coordinator and a wildfire public information officer. Formerly she worked for the U.S. Forest Service in communications and public affairs. She is a seventh generation farmer and rancher, and with her husband and his family, owns ranching operations in Weber County and Wyoming.
She is an at-large member on the Weber County Farm Bureau board, past president-elect of the Utah Cattlewomen’s Association and a former intern for the National Cattlemens Beef Association. Hunting holds a dual Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture and communications/journalism from Utah State University.
Duties of the Animal Industry Director include: protecting Utah livestock from, and reducing the effects of, foreign and domestic diseases; increasing the market value of Utah livestock; promoting and ensuring animal health and productivity; protecting human health; and preparing for and responding to emergency situations involving animals.
“My ties and passion to agriculture and ranching run deep,” said Hunting. “I think it goes without saying I am both honored to be appointed and excited to begin this new chapter of my career in the service of the amazing industry producers of our state.”
Animal agriculture in Utah represents the single largest sector of farm income in the state. At a value of more than $1 billion, and with 25 of the state’s 29 counties reporting livestock as the dominant agricultural sector, UDAF spends considerable energy maintaining a healthy and prosperous industry.