Florida Welcomes its First Female Elected as Commissioner of Agriculture
It’s official. Nicole “Nikki” Fried has been inaugurated as Florida’s 12th Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Fried, the first woman elected to the Cabinet position in the Sunshine State, takes office with a bold agenda.
As commissioner, she will oversee a $1.8 billion department with nearly 4,000 employees, a $137 billion economic impact, and responsibility for Florida’s food production and safety, consumer protection and licensing, as well as the state’s waters, forests, energy, and more.
“The responsibilities of our department are vast, and the opportunities are great,” Fried stated in a prepared news release. “Today is day one, the day we’ve been working toward — and we’re ready to work on behalf of the people of the great state of Florida.”
Among top agriculture-related priorities for Fried, she lists the following:
- Cleaner Waters
- Expanding Patient Access to Medical Marijuana
- Hemp Production
- Agricultural Innovation
- Expanded Availability of Healthy Foods
- Renewable Energy and Climate Change
Before her election, the South Florida native worked as an advocate in Tallahassee, representing at-risk children, the Broward County School Board, and working to expand patient access to medical marijuana. In addition, Fried has served in the Alachua County Public Defender’s Office as head of the Felony Division, and worked with law firms as a government consultant, advocating on behalf of clients before the Florida legislature.