- Associated Press - Sunday, June 14, 2015

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - The new director of the Washington Department of Agriculture begins his job Monday leading a staff of 750 with a budget of about $158 million.

The Yakima Herald-Republic says (https://is.gd/A5IeKC ) Derek Sandison is a 62-year-old Port Angeles native who has a reputation for building consensus and the backing of agricultural interests.

Unlike his predecessors, Sandison is not a farmer. He most recently led the state Department of Ecology’s Office of the Columbia River. Lawmakers created that office in 2006 to seek water solutions for farmers and fish in Eastern Washington.

He previously served as the regional director for the Ecology Department in Yakima.

Sandison replaces Bud Hover, an Okanogan County farmer and former county commissioner who announced his resignation in March.

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