Deputy Secretary James P. Eichhorst

James EichhorstGovernor Larry Hogan appointed James P. Eichhorst to serve as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, effective October 1, 2015. 

Eichhorst is a fifth generation corn and soybean farmer in East Central Illinois, where he made all production, management, and marketing decisions on his family farm. He maintains his ownership in that operation today. Prior to joining MDA, Eichhorst was director of state government relations for the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) where he advocated on behalf of BIO members, which include biotech providers in agriculture and healthcare. Eichhorst was also director of federal government relations for BIO’s Food and Agriculture Section.

As deputy secretary, Eichhorst will manage the day-to-day operations of the agency to achieve the conservation, preservation, regulatory, educational and service responsibilities of the department. These activities assure a healthy environment and food supply, fairness in the marketplace and ensures that agriculture will remain a strong economic force in the state.

Previously, Eichhorst served in two positions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture as an appointee in the Administration of President George W. Bush. In those roles, he served as director of intergovernmental affairs and director of external affairs for the Farm Service Agency. He also served as Chief of Staff, Legislative Director, and Legislative Assistant for two U.S. Congressmen: Thomas W. Ewing (IL-15) and Timothy V. Johnson (IL-15).

Prior to his service in Washington, D.C., Eichhorst spent nearly eight years with the Illinois Farm Bureau and its family of companies, including the Illinois Corn Growers Association, Illinois Corn Marketing Board, and Country Companies Insurance.

Eichhorst replaced Mary Ellen Setting, who retired on September 30, 2015 after serving MDA for 38 years in various capacities.

James Eichhorst

50 Harry S. Truman Parkway
Annapolis, Maryland 21401