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Serving: MI

Agriculture Development Division director named

RiverNorthPhotography/Getty Images farmsteads surrounded by green crop fields
NEW POSITION: Jamie Zmitko-Somers is the director of the Agriculture Development Division for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Jamie Zmitko-Somers has 23 years of service with MDARD.

Jamie Zmitko-Somers (pictured) recently was named the director of the Agriculture Development Division for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. She started her new position Jan. 25.

Jamie Zmitko-Somers “Anybody who has had the pleasure of working with Jamie understands why she was an obvious choice for this role,” MDARD Director Gary McDowell says. “In addition to the wealth of knowledge and experience she brings to the table, the relationships she has cultivated with leaders, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders is invaluable to the division and the department.

"During these challenging times, we are very fortunate to have somebody like Jamie, who can immediately take the reins, keep the division charging ahead, and offer her own unique vision for the future.”

Zmitko-Somers has been with the department for 23 years in various capacities.

In 2001, she began working in the International Marketing Program, and was a leader in that program for several years. Zmitko-Somers was named deputy director of MDARD’s Agriculture Development Division in March 2019 and has been acting director for the department since May 2020.

“MDARD’s Agriculture Development Division is well-known and highly respected statewide, nationally, and even in certain corners of the globe,” Zmitko-Somers says. “Having been a part of this team for several years, I have seen the impact it has on rural communities and businesses, as well as the workers they employ and the communities they support. I am honored to have this opportunity, and I’m excited to help lead this amazing team and keep Michigan’s food and agriculture industry one of the most diverse, innovative and successful in the country.”

Zmitko-Somers graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor's degree in business administration/pre-law. Jamie and her husband, Don, own and operate a farm in Henderson growing corn and soybeans, where they live with their three young children, Mason, Breann and Hannah.

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