In April 2018, Governor Ralph Northam appointed Dr. Jewel H. Bronaugh as the 16th Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Dr. Bronaugh most recently served as the Executive Director of the Center of Agriculture Research, Engagement and Outreach (CAREO) at Virginia State University. In her leadership of CAREO, she assisted in expanding the impact of the 1890 Land Grant mission of VSU and provided oversight of the Agricultural Research and Extension Divisions. She previously served as the Virginia State Executive Director for the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), where she was appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe and the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, in July 2015. The FSA State Executive Director is the highest ranking full-time FSA program administrator in the State. In her role with FSA, she provided oversight for critical production stabilization, price support, compliance, farm loan, conservation, environmental, and emergency assistance programs in Virginia. She was responsible for the supervision of 41 field offices and the State FSA Office, comprising 186 employees. Dr. Bronaugh is the first African American female in the nation to serve in this capacity.
Prior to being appointed to FSA, she served as the Dean of the College of Agriculture at Virginia State University (VSU) for 5 years, where she led the strategic vision for the Extension and Research divisions and the academic departments of Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Hospitality Management. In her earlier career at VSU, she was the Associate Administrator of Cooperative Extension and a 4-H Youth Development Specialist, where she developed and delivered programs that addressed issues of bullying among today’s youth.