The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) today announced a promotion and new hiring within the Division of Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs. Jeff Cummins will be taking on the role of Director of the division with Katie Nelson serving as Program Manager. “One of the department’s most important functions is to advocate on behalf of the industry at the state, local and federal levels,” said Ted McKinney, ISDA Director. “I’m confident that Jeff and Katie can carry this mission forward, serving Hoosiers and the industry well.”
Cummins graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Communications, and from Indiana University McKinney School of Law in December 2016. He worked for the House Republican Campaign Committee, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, and the Indiana Attorney General’s office, prior to joining ISDA as its Program Manager of Policy and Regulatory Affairs.
In his new role as Director of the division, he will be responsible for continually evaluating the legislative and regulatory landscape at all levels of government while positioning the department to support the agricultural industry in each arena. He will also serve as Executive Director of the Indiana Land Resources Council, which was created to assist state and local decision-makers with land use tools and policies.
“Since my time at the department, I have enjoyed being able to work with farmers, rural communities, agricultural organizations, and elected officials to ensure that Indiana’s laws and regulations are based in science and do not impede growth in the industry,” Cummins said. “I’m eager to continue that work while making sure that agriculture has a seat at the table when regulations are being considered that impact the industry.”
Nelson graduated this past December from the University of Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Before joining ISDA, she served as a policy intern for the Missouri State Legislature, the Associated Students of the University of Missouri and Missouri Corn Growers Association.
As Program Manager of the division, Nelson will be assisting Cummins with legislative issues and policy research, as well as guiding agricultural businesses through the permitting process, among other duties.
“Growing up around agriculture, I have a deep appreciation for the industry,” Nelson said. “That is why I am excited to continue my career working in agriculture and look forward to serving as a resource to move the industry forward in Indiana.”