Brad Copenhaver has been appointed Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. He has served as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry since May 2018, where he led the Northam Administration’s legislative efforts to legalize cannabis for adult use, regulate hemp-derived oils intended for human consumption, maintain federal produce safety compliance, and meet Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay cleanup commitments with regard to urban fertilizer application.
Brad grew up on his family’s beef cattle and burley tobacco farm in Washington County. After working on Capitol Hill as a legislative correspondent for Congressman H. Morgan Griffith, he was the Director of Government Affairs at the Virginia Agribusiness Council, where he worked closely with the General Assembly and Virginia congressional delegation on a variety of issues including animal welfare, food safety and labeling, the environment and water quality, and international trade. Brad was a Pamplin Scholar at Virginia Tech and graduated with degrees in political science and agricultural economics and completed his Master of Business Administration degree at the University of Washington. During his education career, Brad has served as a National Beef Ambassador, Virginia 4-H President, and treasurer of the UW Graduate and Professional Student Senate, and he spent summers working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Meat Export Federation in Tokyo, and Bryant Christie, Inc., an agricultural exports consulting firm in Seattle.