Former Ohio lawmaker to take on a familiar role

Less than a year after being named to head up the trouble-riddled state funeral board, former Ohio lawmaker Tim Derickson will take on a new role with the state.

Derickson, who had been a dairy farmer in his home of Hanover Twp., has been tapped to be the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s assistant director. He starts the new job today.

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“I want to do what I know best, which is dealing with agriculture issues,” he said.

In this role Derickson will oversee the department’s daily operations, including managing more than 450 employees and more than a dozen divisions and offices.

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The mission of the Ohio Department of Agriculture is to safeguard the health of Ohio’s food supply, protect consumers, promote environmental stewardship and maintain the health of the state’s animals and plants. The agency also promotes the state’s agricultural products but also works to create economic opportunities for Ohio’s farmers, food processors and agribusinesses.

Derickson said the biggest issues facing the Ohio Department of Agriculture include ensuring there’s a healthy food supply, which includes testing for disease among plants and animals; water conservation; and in Southwest Ohio the issues around the emerald ash borer.

“Tim Derickson will be a perfect addition to our team at ODA,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David Daniels, a former state lawmaker from Greenfield. “His farming background coupled with his legislative and executive experience will help our agency.”

Derickson was one of 16 Republican candidates to seek Ohio’s 8th Congressional District seat following former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner’s 2015 resignation from Congress. He came in second in the crowded March 2016 primary race, finishing by more than 11,000 votes to Boehner’s eventual congressional replacement Warren Davidson.

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Faced with term limits at the end of 2016, Derickson resigned as the 53rd Ohio House representative in August 2016 to become the director of the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors. The appointment was because of Derickson’s history in the statehouse to solve problems, which there were a number as that agency had been mired in accusations of harassment and altered records.

The challenges he was asked to fix have been addressed, Derickson said, and he was recently presented with the Ohio Department of Agriculture opportunity.

Derickson said there typically isn’t much in ways of agriculture legislation, but he did lead the effort to make the second week of March as Ohio Agriculture Week. Derickson was mostly known in the Statehouse, however, for his work on workforce development after being tapped to lead a task force early in his lawmaker tenure.

“Farming and agriculture is my heritage and remains my passion,” he said. “I have great respect for agriculture and food processing and the thousands of people who make a significant impact to the state.”

Derickson grew up working full-time on his family’s farm in Hanover Twp., which started in 1954 and was a working dairy farm until the late 1980s. He farmed the land until the late 1990s when he and others developed the Indian Ridge Golf Course, which he has since sold off his shares of that business.

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