Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe announced on Thursday his selections of Todd Haymore for Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry and Molly Ward for Secretary of Natural Resources, who will join a bipartisan group of members of the McAuliffe cabinet, focused on finding commonsense solutions to the issues facing Virginia’s communities and economy.
“The leaders of the two Secretariats will help lay a foundation for growing and diversifying our economy by utilizing resources that are uniquely Virginian,” said McAuliffe. “Growing our agriculture and forestry industries responsibly, and protecting our natural and historic resources are critical to supporting our tourism industry and ensuring our economic sustainability, and I am confident that Todd and Molly are the best people to get that job done.”
Todd Haymore currently serves as the Virginia Secretary of Agriculture, a post which he has held since January 2010. He is a Virginia native who was first appointed by Governor Tim Kaine to serve as Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. During his tenure as Secretary, Haymore has focused on advocating for the agriculture and forestry industries, which contribute $79 billion annually to the Virginia economy. Haymore has also focused on integrating agriculture and forestry into Governor McDonnell’s economic development plan and helped create the Agricultural and Forstry Industries Development Fund, which has led to record exports of Virginia agricultural products across the globe. Prior to his appointment during the Kaine Administration, Haymore served in various leadership positions at Universal Leaf Tobacco Company from 1999-2007.
“Agriculture and forestry are, by far, Virginia’s largest industries and key economic and job creation catalysts through the Commonwealth,” said Haymore. “Working with our private sector partners, the General Assembly, and a strategic plan, we helped increase agricultural exports to record high levels over the past four years and made significant investments in agriculture and forestry. I’m confident that we’ll build on those successes under the leadership of Governor-elect McAuliffe, who has made clear his commitment to creating more jobs and strengthening our economy during his term.”
Molly Joseph Ward served as Mayor of Hampton from 2008-2013, where she focused on economic development and issues related to the City of Hampton and the broader Hampton Roads region. During her tenure, she advocated for support of the addition of a National Park Service unit to Fort Monroe, successfully facilitated the creation of a conservation easement for Buckroe Beach, and has served as a trustee of the Virginia Outdoors Foundation. She also chaired both the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization and the Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance and served on the board of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission. Prior to serving as Mayor, Ward served as Treasurer of the City of Hampton for six years.
“I am honored to be nominated to serve as Secretary of Natural Resources in Gov.-elect McAuliffe’s administration. Protecting and promoting our natural and historic resources are a key part of growing and diversifying Virginia’s economy and have been a central focus of my career in public service,” said Ward. “I am eager to get to work executing the Governor’s agenda in these critical areas.”