Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
On January 15, 2022, Joseph Guthrie became the 18th Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. This appointment was originally announced by Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin on January 4. Commissioner Guthrie is a sixth generation Virginia farmer. He owns and operates a beef cattle and hay farm in Pulaski County on farmland that has been in his family since 1795. Since 2007, he served as a Senior Instructor at Virginia Tech and taught courses in business management, finance, communications, and leadership in the Agricultural Technology Program. Prior to his appointment, he served the residents of Pulaski County on the Board of Supervisors since 2015, and was elected Board Chair in 2020 and 2021. He was also elected to a four year term on the Pulaski County School Board in 2011. Commissioner Guthrie has served as the president of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Faculty Association, president of Pulaski County Farm Bureau, and president of the Virginia Cattlemen’s Association. He was appointed by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board and was appointed by former Governor Bob McDonnell to the Virginia Cattle Industry Board. Commissioner Guthrie earned a B.S. degree in Agricultural Economics from Virginia Tech. He was named Virginia Tech’s Man of the Year as the outstanding graduating senior in 1989. He earned a master’s degree in 1991 in Agricultural Economics and International Trade from Massey University in New Zealand, where he studied as a Fulbright Scholar. In 2007, he was awarded the Eisenhower Fellowship in Agriculture to research international trade of beef from Australia and New Zealand.