Baldridge is currently the state rep for the 90th Ohio House District
By Diego Flammini
An Ohio farmer could be the next leader of the state’s ag department.
On Jan. 20, Governor Mike DeWine announced he will nominate Brian Baldridge (pictured), who has represented Ohio’s 90th district since 2019, as the next director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
“I am pleased to nominate Brian Baldridge for director the Ohio Department of Agriculture,” Gov. DeWine said in a statement. “Brian knows the industry and is passionate about promoting Ohio agriculture. He also shares my vision for making needed improvements to the Ohio State Fairgrounds.”
Baldridge is part of a seven-generation farming family, helping raise cash crops and livestock at Baldridge Farms.
Baldridge will need the support of his colleagues before he officially becomes the new ag director.
“Baldridge must still be confirmed by the Ohio Senate, though I don’t see anything so far that would cripple his nomination,” Jeremy Pelzer, politics reporter for Cleveland.com, said on Twitter.
If Baldridge is successful, he will replace Dorothy Pelanda, who retired at the end of 2022.
Members of the Ohio ag community support the nomination.
Baldridge’s farming background helps him enter the position with proper knowledge of the issues farmers face, said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of the Ohio Farm Bureau.
“Being a farmer himself, he truly understands agriculture, the importance of the industry to our state and the challenges that come with it,” he said in a statement. “We look forward to hitting the ground running with Rep. Baldridge as we continue the work to improve Ohio’s water quality, enhance the state’s food system and put programs in place to secure the important role farmers and rural communities have in the Buckeye State for generations to come.”