WKU Public Radio News Staff
Thu June 19, 2014
Bowling Green Woman Aims to Become First Female to Head Kentucky Agriculture Department
Jean-Marie Lawson-Spann is on a mission to become Kentucky’s first female agriculture commissioner.
The Bowling Green Democrat announced her 2015 candidacy in Frankfort Wednesday and is making a series of stops across the state in the coming days.
At the WKU Ag Expo Center Thursday, Lawson appeared alongside former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Billy Ray Smith who called her "the right person at the right time to move Kentucky agriculture forward."
The 36-year-old Lawson-Spann is a marketing executive whose family owned a farm equipment business for decades.
"I had direct responsibility for marketing and business development," she explained. "I traveled the commonwealth finding ways to grow our family's businesses and I want to bring these same marketing and business talents to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture."
Lawson-Spann is also the host of a local radio show focused on agriculture. If elected, she pledged to create and expand markets for Kentucky farmers and continue efforts toward allowing farmers to grow hemp for industrial purposes.
"I want to make one thing perfectly clear," stated Lawson-Spann. I'm not running against anyone. I'm running for the office of Commissioner of Agriculture for the commonwealth of Kentucky."
First-term Agriculture Commissioner James Comer could seek re-election, though he’s also considering a run for the Republican nomination for governor next year.