Agriculture & Industries Commissioner John McMillan was sworn in at Alabama’s Inauguration Day ceremony on Monday, January 17, 2011. Before taking his oath of office, McMillan drove a tractor in the inaugural parade accompanied by 100 Future Farmers of America (FFA) from throughout Alabama.
His interest in agriculture began at a young age while working on his uncle’s farm and in his father’s sawmill. After college, he continued to work at the family sawmill for nearly 20 years. Over the years, McMillan’s career continued to focus on agri-business, forest products, wildlife protection, natural resource management and the protection of private property rights.
McMillan discovered he had a love for public service and decided to run for State Representative in 1974. He won that race and then was re-elected in 1978. He served as Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources under Governor Fob James. In 1983, McMillan was given the opportunity to work for the Alabama Forestry Association and in 1986 was selected to direct the association as its Executive Vice President for the next 20 years.
In his address to the crowd gathered at the Capitol, McMillan emphasized the need to learn from the past and work toward a better future.
"Our future is capturing the enthusiasm of our youth, like the Future Farmers of America represented here today," said McMillan. "Our job is to inspire them to get involved and pursue the noble vocation of agriculture where the talents and hard work of so many are needed. We must do this while also working to find new ways to enable our farmers and agribusinesses to not only survive in this economy, but to expand and thrive."
For more information about Commissioner McMillan or the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries, please visit www.agi.alabama.gov.
See Related Story, "Home Grown Tomatoes," in Monthly Columns