Wright Is New Fresno County
New Fresno County Ag Commissioner,
Les Wright was appointed to serve as the agricultural commissioner
for Fresno County, the top agricultural county in the nation. He was formally appointed by the Fresno
County Board of Supervisors this morning.
Wright has been serving as interim Ag Commissioner ever
since former Ag Commissioner Carol Hafner retired last year. He said he looks
forward to strengthening his relationship with Fresno County farmers and
In the summer of 1976, Wright began his first government job,
working for a border inspection station in northern California.
During this time, he was attending a junior college and
working on farms in Modoc County. “You
had to become a jack of all trades of living in northern California,” said
Wright. He also worked in construction, drove trucks and was a ranch hand in
“At one point along the way, I took one of the state license
tests,” said Wright. He eventually
decided to work for the government full-time, mostly to receive a steady
paycheck and insurance for his family.
From there, he moved up the ranks, eventually becoming
agricultural commissioner in Modoc County.
“I learned what was necessary to accomplish what needed to be done and
done right,” said Wright.
In 1999, Wright moved to Kings County, and worked as a deputy
agricultural commissioner. In 2010, Wright
joined the team in Fresno County, and became chief deputy.
Although he has always favored livestock, he has done almost
every job in the business, from inspecting bee hives to pesticide applications,
said Wright. Even before moving to the
Central Valley, he had some familiarity with row crops where he grew up. Throughout the years, he has gained a
The California agricultural commissioner system is necessary
because of the state’s diversity. “There
are big differences throughout the state in the type of agriculture and issues
facing growers,” said Wright.
“I wear a lot of different hats throughout the day,” said
Wright, who is constantly connected to technology. On a daily basis, he will receive hundreds of
emails and oversee 82 full time employees working in the diverse agriculture programs
and deal with local regulatory issues. A Commissioner has dozens of programs
and many issues to deal with, from Asian Citrus Psyllid to an incorrectly
computing gas pump.
“Agriculture has always been my love,” said Wright. “I’ve always been involved in agriculture and
don’t see myself doing anything else.”
Labels: ACP, Carol Hafner, Fresno County Ag Commission, Fresno County Board of Supervisors, Kings County, Les Wright, Modoc County