Agriculture Commissioner-elect Adam Putnam spoke with reporters today alongside sitting commissioner Charles Bronson about the upcoming transition in the Agriculture Department. Putnam, a five-term congressman from Bartow, has set up a office in the Capitol and is now reviewing applications and ideas for the department along with his transition team.
Putnam pledged to work on food safety, water policy and consumer protection. He added that Bronson's legacy is his work on his "farm to fuel" initiative that encourages farmers to produce energy from biomass. "Before any other elected official was talking about it, this department was leading the way with farm to fuel discussions and summits and innovation that is leading to real capital investment in Florida," he said.
Putnam noted that two longtime Department of Agriculture staffers have left (he called it a loss for the department and a gain for the Senate) and speculated that there will be other employees who choose to move to other opportunities.