March 25, 2019

CT eyes Hurlburt as next AG commish

Photo | Contributed
Photo | Contributed
Gov. Ned Lamont on Monday tapped Bryan Hurlburt as his nominee to lead the state Agriculture Department.

Tolland's Bryan Hurlburt, an ex-state lawmaker who supports commercial hemp legislation, is the governor's nominee to head the state Agriculture Department, authorities say.

Gov. Ned Lamont announced Monday that Hurlburt, currently executive director of the Connecticut Farm Bureau Association in Wethersfield, is his choice as the next agricultural commissioner.

Hurlburt assumes his role Friday as commissioner-in-waiting, pending his formal confirmation by state lawmakers. Steve Reviczky previously held the post from 2011 through last December.

Lamont said in a statement that he wants Hurlburt to continue promoting agriculture policies beneficial to the growers, residents and other beneficiaries of the state's $4 billion annual farming industry that employs some 21,000.

"I am looking forward to growing those numbers and supporting the small businesses that farm operations are," Hurlburt said.

As previously reported, attached to the governor's two-year, $43 billion state budget is a bill that would legalize a pilot program allowing the production and sale of hemp, which is a type of cannabis plant that produces a non-intoxicating substance — cannabidiol or CBD — that can be used for pain relief and to treat anxiety, depression, insomnia and serious diseases including diabetes or multiple sclerosis, among other uses.

Hurlburt has said hundreds of farmers in state are interested in growing commercial hemp.

Prior to his Farm Bureau post, Hurlburt was senior vice president of program operations at Wholesome Wave, a Bridgeport nonprofit providing more fresh-food options to underserved consumers.

In 2013, President Barack Obama named Hurlburt Connecticut executive director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency, overseeing the agency's crop protection, disaster relief and loan programs.

From 2007 to 2013, Hurlburt served four terms as a state representative for the 53rd district of Ashford, Tolland, and Willington.

Hurlburt earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from UConn.

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