Frederickson to replace Hugoson in ag post

A U.S. Senate staff member and former National Farmers’ Union president will be the next Minnesota agriculture commissioner.

Dave Frederickson was Gov.-elect Mark Dayton’s pick Tuesday, ending Gene Hugoson’s tenure of serving three governors.

Dayton has “a deep understanding and commitment to agricultural issues,” Frederickson said.

“He has outstanding qualifications: a farmer, former state legislator, president of both the Minnesota and the National Farmers’ Unions,” Dayton said about his commissioner selection. “Most importantly, he brings a deep commitment to public service and to improving our state’s critically important agriculture economy.”

Frederickson comes from U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s staff, where he handled ag issues.

“He worked with me on the farm bill and I saw firsthand the respect he garners from farmers not only in Minnesota but across the country,” Klobuchar said. “We will miss his good humor and kind manner, but we know he will hit the ground running in his new job.”

Frederickson, a Murdock native, served Chippewa, Lac Qui Parle, Redwood, Swift and Yellow Medicine counties in southwest Minnesota as state senator in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Hugoson, meanwhile, leaves office early next month after a historic term in office. He served Govs. Arne Carlson, Jesse Ventura and Tim Pawlenty since he was appointed in 1995.

He operates a corn and soybean farm with his son and daughter-in-law in southern Minnesota’s Martin County.

Hugoson served a decade in the Minnesota House, including four years as minority leader.

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