Don Brown was appointed the Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture by Governor John Hickenlooper in January 2015.
Brown, a third-generation farmer in Yuma County, has run several successful businesses while spending most of his career managing and growing his family’s extensive farm operations. He has also been active in water conservation, energy development and technology innovation issues within the industry.
Don and his wife, Peggy, have three children who continue to call Colorado home. The Brown family farm was homesteaded in 1911 and has been designated as a Centennial Farm. Don’s parents, Cleo and Jennie, were pioneers in pivot irrigation in Yuma County. Don continues that pioneering spirit today through his study of the Ogallala Aquifer and holds two U.S. patents for his fence post systems.
Brown is a recipient of the Bill Seward Memorial Award - Lifetime Achievement for Outstanding Cattle Producer and the Yuma Soil Conservation District Outstanding Conservationist. He is active in the National Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, National Corn Growers and the Colorado Corn Growers Association and has also served as president of the Yuma County Cattlemen’s Association. Brown is a former Colorado State President of the Future Farmers of America and participates in various community organizations.
Brown graduated with a degree in agriculture from Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, and received a vocational agriculture education degree with honors from Colorado State University.
As commissioner, Brown will lead the department’s daily operations, direct its 300 employees, and oversee the agency’s seven divisions: Animal Health; Brand Inspection; Colorado State Fair; Conservation Services; Inspection and Consumer Services; Markets; and Plant Industry.