LePage commissioner chosen as farming adviser for Donald Trump

State Agriculture Commissioner Walter Whitcomb briefly addresses blueberry growers at annual summer field day and meeting at Blueberry Hill Farm in Jonesboro in 2014. Tim Cox | BDN

State Agriculture Commissioner Walter Whitcomb briefly addresses blueberry growers at annual summer field day and meeting at Blueberry Hill Farm in Jonesboro in 2014. Tim Cox | BDN

A member of Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s Cabinet has been chosen to serve on Donald Trump’s Agricultural Advisory Committee.

The Republican presidential nominee announced Friday through the Maine Republican Party that Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Walt Whitcomb, a dairy farmer, has been tapped for the committee. The committee also includes six governors and agricultural experts from a number of large agricultural states, according to a news release.

Whitcomb said he would bring concerns of small-scale family farms to the national conversation.

“Maine has the largest number of farms in New England and that number has been increasing while the number of farms nationally have been in decline,” said Whitcomb. “Americans are hungry for new leadership that will fix a broken system and restore prosperity for everyone.”

Whitcomb praised LePage and Trump.

“Maine has benefited from a leader who is not a politician, speaks his mind, continually challenges the status quo and is unafraid to say that we can and should be doing better,” said Whitcomb. “I see a lot of those same qualities in Donald Trump and will gladly help shape agricultural policies that produce results, put people to work and put healthy food on the table.”

Whitcomb joined LePage’s Cabinet in 2011 and leads a department of more than 700 employees. He is part of a multi-generational dairy farm in Waldo which is now managed by his daughters and mother. He served 12 years in the Maine House of Representatives — including six years as Republican floor leader — and was a member of the Legislature’s committees on agriculture and taxation.

Whitcomb is a University of Maine graduate and has served on numerous state- and federal-level agriculture organizations and committees.

Maine Republican Party Chairman Rick Bennett said Trump has chosen well.

“Mr. Trump is displaying that he understands and values Maine’s rich agricultural history and its importance to our state and national economy,” said Bennett. “Mr. Whitcomb is an individual who not only possesses a wealth of agricultural knowledge through extensive personal experience but also vast political experience.”

View the rest of Trump’s advisory committee members by clicking here.

 

 

Christopher Cousins

About Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.