Dan Hunter serves as Assistant Commissioner for the Texas Department of Agriculture. He is the top advisor on the critical issues of water and the important role it plays in agriculture and the Texas economy. He also oversees programs involving rural affairs, including rural health care, economic development, grants, and marketing.
Hunter has an extensive background in agriculture, research, water, and policy development. Most recently he served as Executive Director of the Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research (TIAER) at Tarleton State University. When TIAER was established by the Texas Legislature in 1991 one of its charges was to “provide national leadership on emerging environmental policy”. Hunter’s background in working with national constituencies, including state and federal agencies, Congress, and producer and consumer organizations is vital in providing the national leadership the Legislature envisioned. TIAER is a leader in the field of environmental research around the world.
When Hunter joined TIAER in 2006, he was already a part of the Tarleton State University family, serving as an adjunct professor for the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences for several years. Prior to joining the Institute he was the Executive Officer/Manager of the Southwestern Peanut Growers’ Association, where he managed a multi-million dollar producer cooperative. As the chief executive, Hunter provided the primary guidance on all legislative, research, marketing, regulatory and media related issues.
Earlier in his professional career he served as the Government Relations Representative for the National Cotton Council, a multifaceted trade association in Washington, DC. He also worked as a primary legislative staff member for former Congressmen Larry Combest and Fred Grandy. Hunter received degrees from Texas Tech University and Tarleton State University. He has written numerous articles for several publications, and provided testimony for legislative and regulatory committees. Additionally, he has given presentations around the world including the United Nations Foreign Agriculture Organization in Rome.