Mar 5, 2020
Gebru to direct Colorado Department of Agriculture plant division

The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) has selected of Wondirad Gebru as director of the department’s Plant Industry Division. As director, Gebru will serve as a member of the Department’s senior management team and provide leadership and support for the overall operations of the department. He will guide the development of program performance measures and goals and enforce laws and regulations to protect the agricultural industry and consumers, facilitate trade and monitor exotic pests.

Wondirad Gebru
Wondirad Gebru

After joining CDA in January 2019 as the Plant Industry Division’s Assistant Director, Gebru most recently served for nearly a year as interim Plants Division Director, during which time he supervised the rapid expansion of CDA’s Industrial Hemp and Organic Certification Programs and a management team restructuring that now includes two sections and a Field Services Team.

“Under Wondirad Gebru’s leadership, our Plant Industry Division continues to successfully navigate a time of unprecedented transition and growth,” said Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg. “His deep industry expertise and commitment to his work are immensely beneficial to our department, our industry, and the people of Colorado.”

“I realize the significance of the plant industry to the state and the challenges our farmers face. Colorado has one of the most diverse agro-ecologies, which in turn creates opportunities to grow the diversity of our industry,” said Gebru. “With a talented and highly motivated CDA team, I have full confidence in our ability to  achieve our mission of supporting Colorado’s plant industry and building public confidence in our services.”

Before joining CDA, Gebru was a consultant to the Food and Agriculture Organization within the United Nations and served as the Director of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Ethiopia.  Prior to that, he led the national agricultural extension program. Gebru started his professional career as a researcher in nematology at the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research.

Gebru holds a Master of Science degree in Applied Genetics from Addis Ababa University (AAU), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a Master of Science degree in Nematology from the University of Gent, Belgium, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Chemistry from AAU.

The Plant Industry Division of the Colorado Department of Agriculture provides oversight and coordination of the Department’s efforts to implement the requirements of the Nursery Act, Seed Act, Seed Potato Act, Pest Control Act, Industrial Hemp Act, Organic Act, Pesticide Applicators’ Act, Pesticide Act and their associated rules, which include registration, licensing, inspection, investigation and enforcement.

In addition, the division provides inspection services for the Chemigation Act and the Agricultural Chemicals and Groundwater Protection Act, and develops and enforces quarantines to prevent or minimize the threat of exotic pests to the agricultural and horticultural industries of the state.

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