Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey announced this week that Dr. Justin Smith has been named as the new Kansas animal health commissioner at the Kansas Department of Agriculture. Dr. Smith will fill the role that will be vacated with the retirement of Dr. William Brown, who has served in the role since 2010.
Dr. Smith has been serving as deputy commissioner in the KDA Division of Animal Health since 2013. He has been a valuable part of the agency, leading the animal disease control team, helping organize and execute foreign animal disease preparation efforts, and engaging industry in the work of the division along with many other duties. Prior to coming to KDA as a field veterinarian in 2011, Dr. Smith managed a western Kansas ranch, worked as a private practicing veterinarian and as a livestock extension agent.
The animal health commissioner serves as the executive officer of the KDA Division of Animal Health, overseeing the agency’s three program areas: disease control and traceability, animal facilities inspections and brands, all of which work to ensure the health and welfare of Kansas livestock and domestic animals. The commissioner is appointed by the Kansas Secretary of Agriculture.