PIERRE (AP) -- The South Dakota Department of Agriculture is getting a new leader.
Agriculture Secretary Walt Bones has announced that he's retiring from his position effective April 29. The Parker native said he's returning to his farm. "It has truly been an honor to serve as Secretary of Agriculture," Bones said "I've served with a group of dedicated public servants -- from the Governor, who really understands the role of agriculture, to his staff and Cabinet members, our Legislature, and especially Department of Agriculture employees, everyone has worked hard to promote and protect the best interests of our industry." Gov. Dennis Daugaard said he's appointing Lucas Lentsch of Pierre to replace Bones.
Daugaard said the 39-year-old Lentsch is well-known across the state and well-respected in the ag community.
"Lucas will be an effective advocate for South Dakota's farmers and ranchers," Daugaard said.
Lentsch serves on the board of directors of South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership Inc. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from South Dakota State University, majoring in dairy manufacturing.