STEPHENVILLE (Tuesday, January 6, 2015) — Dan Hunter, executive director for the Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research (TIAER) at Tarleton State University, has been tapped to serve as assistant commissioner for water and rural affairs within the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA).
Texas Agriculture Commissioner-elect and former Texas state representative Sid Miller, a Tarleton alumnus, recently announced Hunter’s appointment to the TDA executive staff in naming his newly formed transition team. Hunter will assume his new role with the TDA’s Austin headquarters on Feb. 1.
Hunter served two years as assistant director for TIAER before being named executive director in 2008. The institute was established by the Texas Legislature in 1991 to “provide national leadership on emerging environmental policy, especially agriculture water issues.” Hunter has worked with national constituencies, including federal agencies, Congress, and producer and consumer organizations.
“It is an honor to be asked by Commissioner Miller to be a part of the leadership at the Texas Department of Agriculture,” said Hunter. “This is an opportunity to work with people across the state on issues that are critical to our future.”
“It is a privilege to assist the new commissioner, and fellow alum of Tarleton State University, in addressing the challenges facing agriculture,” he continued. “It is exciting to be a part of the incoming team at TDA, and it has been a pleasure to serve the Tarleton family for the last several years.”
Under Hunter’s leadership and TIAER’s highly qualified staff of scientists, economists, engineers, modelers, and technical and field personnel, the Institute has become a leader in the field of water and environmental research around the globe. Additionally, he has given presentations around the world including to the United Nations Foreign Agriculture Organization in Rome.
“Throughout my campaign, I stressed that water would be one of my top priorities as agriculture commissioner,” Miller stated in a news release. “By appointing Dan Hunter as assistant commissioner for Water and Rural Affairs, I am putting one of our state’s leading water experts as one of my top advisers so that we can refocus the TDA on helping ensure that our state has adequate water resources for the long-term. Doing so is not just important to Texas agriculture—our state’s largest user of water—but to all Texans and their families.”
Prior to joining TIAER, Hunter was the executive officer/manager of the Southwestern Peanut Growers’ Association, where he led a multi-million dollar producer cooperative. As chief executive, Hunter guided legislative, research, marketing, regulatory and media related issues.
Earlier in his career he served as government relations representative for the National Cotton Council, a multifaceted trade association in Washington, D.C. He also worked as a primary legislative staff member for former U.S. Reps. Larry Combest and Fred Grandy. Hunter holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Texas Tech University and a master of science in agriculture from Tarleton State University.