BROOMFIELD — Jennifer Yezak has been named Deputy Commissioner for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. The vacancy was created when Chris Wiseman retired from CDA in November 2017. Yezak was raised in Texas in a small rural community where she still helps run the family’s cow/calf operation. She was a Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) until January 2017. She assumes her new responsibilities as CDA’s Deputy Commissioner on March 5, 2018.
“The Deputy Commissioner plays a vital role in the day-to-day management of the Colorado Department of Agriculture. I am confident that Jenn’s vast knowledge of government affairs and her dedication to agriculture will serve the people of Colorado well,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown. “She has a well-respected reputation with a number of Colorado’s ag leaders and her experience on the federal level will help expand our role on the national scale.”
Yezak has worked in the field of agriculture for over 30 years. Since 2009, she has held positions at USDA that focused on operations management, policy development, and intergovernmental affairs. Yezak also has a wide range of knowledge regarding legislative and regulatory processes based on her work with various federal and state agencies. Prior to her career at USDA, Yezak was the Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA). The organization grows and enhances agriculture by forging partnerships and creating consensus to achieve sound policy outcomes between state departments of agriculture, the federal government, and stakeholders. CDA is currently a member of NASDA. Yezak also spent two years with AgSource, Inc./Gordley Associates where she advised and represented the United Soybean Board and the National Biodiesel Board. She also has worked at the Texas Department of Agriculture as the Administrator of Commodity Programs.
Yezak has spent the last year in Central Texas helping run her family’s weekly rural newspaper and agricultural interests. She is also the 2017 recipient of the Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership Distinguished Alumni Award and a graduate of Texas A&M University. While studying at the land-grant university, she received a Bachelor of Science, Agricultural Education, and a Master of Agriculture, Agricultural Development.
“Agriculture is the cornerstone of our country’s heritage and economy. It has been a true honor working toward the betterment of this industry throughout my career. I believe a vital agricultural community helps develop a better quality of life for us all,” said Yezak. “Over the years, I have had a number of opportunities to work with the Colorado Department of Agriculture and am excited to join the CDA family. I also look forward to working with Colorado’s farmers and ranchers, and to calling this beautiful state my home.”
The principal responsibilities of the Deputy Commissioner include coordinating policy development and implementation, overseeing the management of the Department’s divisions, and assisting the Commissioner in achieving the Department goals.
For more on the Colorado Department of Agriculture, visit www.colorado.gov/ag.