Kentucky Department of Agriculture


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Jonathan Shell was elected Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Nov. 7, 2023. A fifth-generation farmer, he, alongside his dad Gary, owns and operates Shell Farms and Greenhouses in Garrard County where they raise cattle and grow flowers, corn, and pumpkins. Realizing farming is a way of life for many in Kentucky and agriculture’s vital impact on every Kentuckian, Shell is dedicating his administration to ensuring a bright future for Kentucky agriculture. Commissioner Shell believes agriculture can be summed up in three words: food, faith, and family. As Agriculture Commissioner he will fight for Kentucky’s farm families and Kentucky values, bringing what he has learned on the farm to his role.  His goal is to ensure the important business of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture continues seamlessly, while remaining a resource Kentucky farmers can count on as they feed their neighbors and the entire world.
Prior to being elected Agriculture Commissioner, Shell was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 2012, becoming the youngest member of the General Assembly. Before the 2016 election, he was tapped by Republican leadership to spearhead candidate recruitment. It was that year Kentucky elected its first Republican House Majority in nearly 100 years.

The following year, Shell’s colleagues elected him Kentucky’s first Republican House Majority Floor Leader. During his time with the House of Representatives, Shell developed and executed legislative strategies to pass policies into law that focused on job creation, support for farmers, and cracking down on opioid traffickers.

Shell is a graduate of Garrard County High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture business from Eastern Kentucky University.

He and his wife, Brooke, live in Lancaster with their four children.  The Shells attend church at Pilot Knob Missionary Baptist Church where Jonathan serves as Sunday School Director.