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Craig Buttars poses for a portrait outside the Cache County Historic Court House in 2019 in Logan.

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Cache County Executive Craig Buttars has been nominated by Governor-elect Spencer Cox as the next commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.

Buttars, who was a dairy farmer until he was appointed the Cache County Executive, said his experience in agriculture and production will be crucial for fulfilling the role.

“I’m excited to be able to be an advocate for agriculture and for agricultural producers,” he said. “It’s an honor and it’s very humbling to be considered for the position on the governor’s cabinet. I will serve to the best of my ability.”

Buttars’s nomination was announced with Cox and Lt. Gov.-elect Deidre Henderson’s 18 other “cabinet and senior staff appointees” who “bring both extensive private and public sector expertise, and hail from all parts of the state,” according to the press release sent Monday morning.

“After a thorough interview process, I’m convinced each of these candidates will serve the citizens of Utah exceptionally well,” Cox stated in the release. “Each has impeccable qualifications, brings fresh ideas and, most importantly, is devoted to public service. We’re lucky to have such brilliant minds willing to serve the public.”

Logan native Brian Steed, a former professor at Utah State University, has been nominated to continue serving as the executive director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources — a position he filled under Gov. Gary Herbert since 2019.

Cox and Henderson, along with other official positions for the state and local government, will be sworn in on Jan. 4 — Inauguration Day.

Jan. 4 will also be Buttars’s last day as the Cache County Executive. He will serve as Interim-Commissioner until his appointment is confirmed by the state legislature — which is expected to occur at the end of January.

“We’re sad to see Craig go,” said county attorney James Swink. “He’s given our county great leadership.”

Buttars’s replacement will be chosen by delegates from the Cache County Republican Party in the same process as was used to appoint Jess Bradfield to County Clerk/Auditor after Jill Zollinger’s resignation, according to Cache County Council Chair Karl Ward. Whoever is chosen will be appointed by the Cache County Council and serve the remaining two years of Buttars’s term.

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