South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard has appointed a new secretary of agriculture.
Daugaard on Tuesday announced the appointment of Mike Jaspers, a South Dakota native who operates a diversified crop and livestock farm in McCook, Hutchinson and Marshall counties.
Jaspers will permanently replace Lucas Lentsch, who was the state's top agriculture official from 2013 through March, when he took a job in the private sector.
Daugaard says Jaspers' background in agriculture production, policy and administration makes him a "great fit to lead the department."
Jaspers previously served in the South Dakota Legislature. In 2007, President George W. Bush named Jaspers state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture- Rural Development, where he served until June 2008.
Jaspers says he looks forward to working with the people "who make agriculture our state's No. 1 industry."