Georgia Department of Agriculture

Meet the Commissioner & Staff

Commissioner Gary W Black

Gary W. Black, Commissioner
Serving his second term, Commissioner Gary W. Black is the sixteenth Georgian to hold the office of Commissioner of Agriculture since the department’s inception in 1874.   More>>

Dr. James Sutton

Dr. James Sutton
Director of Operations
Dr. James Sutton was born and raised in Griffin, Georgia.  He is a graduate of both Griffin High School and Gordon College.  He received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science Degrees in Agronomy from the University of Georgia in 1982 and 1984 respectively.  More>>

Gary Kelley

Gary Kelley
Inspector General

On July 16, 2015, Gary Kelley was appointed as Inspector General for the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Gary’s areas of responsibility are Emergency Management, Homeland Security, Human Resources and internal investigations. More>>

Ashley Sellers

Ashley Sellers
Director of Legal Services

Ashley Sellers grew up on a small family farm in east Tennessee. After graduating magna cum laude from the University of Tennessee, Ashley went on to attend Mercer University's Walter F. George School of Law in Macon, Georgia. While at Mercer, she was a Research Assistant and member of Mercer's distinguished Law Review. Ashley also received multiple awards during her law school career, including the Faculty Award for Outstanding Achievement in Legal Writing...  More>>

Julie McPeake

Julie McPeake
Chief Communication Officer

Julie McPeake came to the Georgia Department of Agriculture to serve as the Chief Communication Officer in July of 2014. Julie acts as the official agency spokesperson of the Georgia Department of Agriculture and facilitates all media inquiries for the department. More>>

Kelly Dudley

Kelly Dudley
Chief Financial Officer

Kelly Dudley joined the Department of Agriculture as Chief Financial Officer in August of 2015. Her leadership brings to us 14 years of State experience in program management, process improvement and fiscal stewardship in a variety of operational functions. Kelly's state career began when she was recruited from Zoo Atlanta to the Department of Administrative Services...  More>>

Dr. Robert Cobb

Dr. Robert Cobb
Division Director of Animal Industry
Recognizing the need for qualified and trained veterinary assistants, Dr. Cobb worked with the leadership at the Heart of Georgia Technical College in Dublin in 1995 to create a Veterinary Assistants program.   Students in the one-year certificate program also benefited from hands-on experience with Dr. Cobb at Dublin Animal Hospital.  More>>

Natalie Adan

Natalie Adan
Division Director of Food Safety
Natalie Adan is originally from Atlanta, GA and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Georgia Southern University.  More>>

Richard Lewis

Richard Lewis
Division Director of Fuel & Measures
Richard Lewis is from Jackson Georgia and is a 1984 graduate of Piedmont Academy. He attended both Gordon College in Barnesville and Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville.  More>>

Mark Norton

Mark Norton
Division Director of Licensing
Mark Norton is a Georgia native and lives in Conyers. He came to the Georgia Department of Agriculture Food Safety Division in 1987. He is active in numerous food safety organizations including the Association of Food & Drug Officials, Association of Food and Drug Officials of the Southern States, International Association for Food Protection, Georgia Association for Food Protection and the Georgia Environmental Health Association. Commissioner Black appointed him Director of the Licensing Division on May 1, 2013.  More>>

Jack Spruill
Division Director of Marketing
Jack is a native of Georgia and was active in Future Farmers of America during high school, serving as a state officer. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Animal Science.  More>>

 Tommy Gray

Tommy Gray
Division Director of
Plant Industry
Tommy Gray grew up in Cedartown, GA and graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture Economics. He then went to work for Gold Kist, Inc.’s Agri-Services Division in 1985. Tommy began his career with the Georgia Department of Agriculture in March of 1989 as Pesticide Field Agent. He subsequently moved into management and oversaw the Pesticide Division’s Licensing and Enforcement Programs from 1991 to 2012. More>>

 

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