Meet Commissioner Gary W. Black
Gary Ward Black Sr., Commissioner of Agriculture
Gary W. Black serves as the 16th Commissioner of Agriculture in Georgia’s history. Currently in his third term, Commissioner Black has served in various leadership positions during his 40-year career in Georgia agriculture extending from the Georgia Farm Bureau to the Georgia Agribusiness Council.
Black is a graduate of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and a past president of the college’s alumni society. He currently serves on advisory committees for the United States Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency and the Export Import Bank of the United States. Under his leadership, Georgia Department of Agriculture divisions for information technology, animal health, homeland security and food safety have garnered national acclaim.
A tireless marketing advocate, Commissioner Black has led innovation in domestic and international promotion through the renowned Georgia Grown branding program. School nutrition directors, first-time exporters, produce growers and recipe dreamers alike, have found that the Georgia Grown collaborative approach is an unparalleled tool that helps Georgians start businesses and expand markets.
Black is a Leadership Georgia Pattillo Award recipient and the 2017 Georgia Trend Magazine Georgian of the Year. He and his wife Lydia raise commercial beef cattle on their family farm in Commerce, Georgia. They serve together in various ministries at Maysville Baptist Church.