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Long-Time WV Ag Commissioner to Retire After 40 Years
USAgNet - 05/25/2011

West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Gus R. Douglass will not seek re-election in 2012. The announcement was made to employees during a special staff meeting, where Commissioner Douglass said he was extremely grateful for the support he has received from West Virginia's farm community and its voters over the year.

"As a farm boy growing up in Mason County, I never dreamed that this would be my career," said Commissioner Douglass, now in his 11th, 4-year term. "I never expected to be in this office as long as I have. It just always seemed as though there was something more that needed to be accomplished. It's humbling when I look back and realize the faith the West Virginia people have had in me to elect me 11 times, especially in the rural communities that I have always tried to represent," he said.

Commissioner Douglass, 84, was recruited to the West Virginia Department of Agriculture as an assistant commissioner by then-Commissioner John T. Johnson in 1957. He was first elected commissioner in 1964 and has served continuously, except for 1988-1992 when he stepped away from the WVDA to run for governor.

In addition to his position as Commissioner of Agriculture, he and his son Tom operate their 540-acre family farm in Mason County, specializing in beef cattle and hay production.

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