Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced that Okanogan rancher Bud Hover will become the director of the state Department of Agriculture. Hover is a former Okanogan County commissioner and current chair of the state Salmon Recovery Board. His family runs a 2,300-acre hay and cattle ranch in Winthrop.
“Agriculture is one of Washington’s most significant cultural and economic cornerstones,” said Inslee in his March 12 announcement. “Bud’s experience as a rancher and his work on issues from water to wildlife will be invaluable in further growing this vital industry.”
Inslee also praised the outgoing director of agriculture, Dan Newhouse of Sunnyside, Washington, who had held the position for four years. Newhouse is a former legislator who operates a 600-acre farm near Sunnyside, Washington, where he grows hops, tree fruit, grapes, and alfalfa.
“Dan is held in high regard for his adept leadership, and deservedly so,” said Inslee. “He’s helped steer this department and this industry through some challenging times. I thank him for all his service.”
According to the Yakima Herald-Republic, Hover, 58, grew up in Issaquah and graduated from Washington State University, where he played linebacker under the late coach Jim Sweeney. He graduated in 1977 with a degree in agriculture education and was drafted in the eighth round by the Washington Redskins, where he played two years. He was released by the Redskins early in his third season and finished that season with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League before retiring from football.