Meet the Staff
|Jai Templeton, Commissioner
(615) 837-5100 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jai Templeton was appointed by Governor Bill Haslam and sworn in as Tennessee's 37th Commissioner of Agriculture in May 2016. Prior to joining the department as Deputy Commissioner in June 2011, he served as mayor of McNairy County, leading that county's successful efforts to reduce debt and increase fund balances without raising taxes during the economic recession. He is a sixth generation farmer producing grain, cotton, hay, timber and cattle.
|Tom Womack, Deputy Commissioner
(615) 837-5103 email@example.com
Tom Womack oversees day-to-day operations for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, directing staff, programs and services ranging from food safety, animal and plant health, pesticides and consumer protection to forestry and agricultural development. With three decades of experience working for the state and its citizens, Womack spent the majority of his tenure with the department as its spokesman and director of communications. Womack's farming background includes tobacco and hay production and beef cattle.
|Larry Maxwell, Asst. Commissioner, Administration and Grants
(615) 837-5111 firstname.lastname@example.org
Larry Maxwell has served as the department's chief fiscal officer for more than 40 years. In addition to ensuring the financial integrity in programs and services, he also provides administrative oversight of the Commodity Distribution program, which distributes USDA surplus foods to schools and charitable organizations. He directs the work of the Water Resources program, which provides federal and state financial assistance to help landowners protect soil and water resources.
|Carol Coley McDonald, Asst. Commissioner, Policy and Legislation
(615) 837-5172 email@example.com
Carol McDonald serves as the department's liaison to the Tennessee General Assembly and directs policy and program development in areas ranging from food safety, pesticides and consumer protection to forestry and agricultural development. She also supervises the Agricultural Crime Unit, which provides a range of security and investigative services to aid rural communities. Prior to joining the department in 2011, she served as an Extension agent in Smith County, coordinating 4-H activities. She has also worked in education and has extensive experience in agribusiness.
|Corinne Gould, Asst. Commissioner for Public Affairs
(615) 837-5207 firstname.lastname@example.org
Corinne Gould oversees internal and external communications and provides administrative support for media relations, policy development and all agency programs. Gould has more than 10 years of experience as a television news producer in the broadcast industry and was recognized with a regional Emmy award and a national Emmy award nomination. She previously served the department as director of communications.
|Jimmy Hopper, Asst. Commissioner, Consumer and Industry Services
(615) 837-5152 email@example.com
Jimmy Hopper has been with TDA since 1985 and is responsible for the administration and implementation of regulatory programs affecting consumer protection and safety. His responsibilities include food and dairy; weights and measures; petroleum quality; feed, seed and fertilizers; grain dealers and warehouses; pesticides; plant and animal health; laboratory services and prevention of youth access to tobacco. He grew up on a dairy and row crop farm in Madison County, where he owned and operated the Family Tradition Dairy Farm from 1979 until 1985.
|Jere Jeter, State Forester and Asst. Commissioner, Forestry
(615) 837-5411 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jere Jeter was appointed state forester and assistant commissioner in 2012. He is responsible for directing the activities of the Division of Forestry in wildfire and forest health protection, landowner assistance and state forest management. A native of Weakley County, Tennessee, Jeter has been with the state for more than 31 years. He first joined the agency in 1975 as an area forester.
|Ed Harlan, Asst. Commissioner, Market Development
(615) 837-5165 email@example.com
Ed Harlan has been with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture since 2003 and is responsible for directing marketing, promotion and development activities. Harlan is a farmer, businessman and former Maury County executive. During Harlan's time at TDA, he has developed strategic plans to expand current business and grow new business within Tennessee's agriculture sector and established close working relationships with agencies and businesses statewide to ensure greatest cooperation and customer service. His efforts over the past few years have contributed to an increase in corporate and on-farm investments in Tennessee.
|Liz Sneed, Director, Human Resources
(615) 837-5115 firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz Sneed has served as the department's Human Resources Director with oversight of all human resources functions since 2006. This includes but is not limited to benefits, classification/compensation, employee relations, payroll and HR transactions. Sneed holds a Bachelor of Art degree from Western Kentucky University in Psychology. She has one year of graduate coursework completed at Middle Tennessee State University in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.
|Theresa Denton, General Counsel
(615) 837-5280 email@example.com
Theresa Denton directs the department's legal work in all areas of responsibility. She directs legal research and represents the department in civil and regulatory proceedings as well as other legal matters. She served two years as Deputy General Counsel for the Tennessee Department of Transportation. She also served as Environmental Legal Counsel for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation from 1994 to 2005, and as a staff attorney for the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation and the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute.