Dr. Jackie McClaskey was appointed secretary of the Kansas Department of Agriculture by Governor Sam Brownback in December 2013.
McClaskey joined the Kansas Department of Agriculture as Assistant Secretary in January 2011 and served in that role until being named Deputy Secretary in July 2013.
She is dedicated to serving Kansas agriculture and is personally committed to developing opportunities to grow the state’s diverse agricultural economy, and is dedicated to strengthening the Department of Agriculture and revitalizing the department’s focus on serving the Kansas’ agriculture industry and the farm and ranch families who provide food and fiber for the world.
A native Kansan, McClaskey grew up on a diversified family farm near Girard. Her family was involved with livestock as well as crop production. She earned a bachelor's degree in agriculture economics from Kansas State University in 1993. She graduated from Texas A&M University in 1995 with a master’s of science in agricultural economics and graduated with her Ph.D. in Animal Science from Kansas State University in January 2014. Her Ph.D. dissertation analyzed foreign animal disease response policy.
Driven by a meaningful purpose to make a positive difference and maximize the skills and talents of others, McClaskey has utilized these strengths to demonstrate her ability to build and effectively lead teams. During the 1990s, McClaskey worked in Washington D.C. as the press secretary and agriculture and higher education policy coordinator in the office of then-Congressman Sam Brownback.
Prior to coming to the Department of Agriculture, McClaskey served as an assistant dean for the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University for 13 years. Because of her passion for young people and seeing them reach their full potential, she is the co-founder of Roots and Legacies, Inc., an agricultural leadership consulting firm.
McClaskey, her husband Mike Matson and their two Australian Shepherds, Lady and Rover, live in Manhattan.
The Kansas Secretary of Agriculture is appointed by the governor and charged with leading KDA in its efforts to fulfill its mission to support the entire Kansas agricultural sector.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Office of the Secretary is comprised of the agency’s executive team and facilities all administrative services for the department, including support for legal, fiscal, information technology, public information dissemination and communications, and human resources.
KDA Executive Team