Tallahassee Democrat: Our Opinion- Agriculture commissioner

Those whose job it is to sense the political winds say Adam Putnam has his eye on the Governor’s Mansion in 2018. But that’s four years away.

Right now, Mr. Putnam sits in a job perfectly suited to him, as Florida’s commissioner of agriculture, and the Democrat’s Editorial Board endorses him for re-election.

Those whose job it is to sense the political winds say Adam Putnam has his eye on the Governor’s Mansion in 2018. But that’s four years away.

Right now, Mr. Putnam sits in a job perfectly suited to him, as Florida’s commissioner of agriculture, and the Democrat’s Editorial Board endorses him for re-election.

It’s hard to believe Mr. Putnam is only 40 years old. He started his political career in 1996, when he was elected to the Florida House, and he was elected to Congress in 2000, serving 10 years. In 2010, he was elected to the Cabinet-level agriculture position, winning easily over now-Tallahassee City Commissioner Scott Maddox, and he is seeking another term this fall.

Mr. Putnam’s family has been raising cattle and growing citrus in Polk County for five generations, and he is well-acquainted with how agricultural issues overlap with social issues. He has worked to get fresh Florida produce served in school cafeterias, aligning purchases with what’s in season. His department instituted the Summer BreakSpot Program, to get food to children who rely on free or reduced-price meals during the school year. This fall, he is working on a hunger map to help address the problem of food deserts in urban areas.

There’s more on the commissioner’s plate than just agriculture, though. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services touches on areas from managing state forests to inspecting grocery stores for cleanliness.

Mr. Putnam’s Democratic challenger, Thaddeus “Thad” Hamilton, has a long history of service with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But he is running an underfunded campaign and has little chance of winning.

Mr. Putnam recognizes the challenges to come, including citrus diseases and migrant worker protections. He also is proud of the continued strength of Florida agriculture.

He has amassed a war chest of about $3 million, which leads to that talk of a gubernatorial run. For now, though, Mr. Putnam is our capable agricultural commissioner, and he deserves another four years.

Tallahassee Democrat

Do you like this post?

Be the first to comment


LATEST TWEETS
FACEBOOK LIKE BOX
Join Adam