Governor Christine Gregoire announced this morning that Valoria Loveland, Director of the state Department of Agriculture is retiring. Loveland, a former state senator and Franklin County Treasurer, has served as agriculture director under both Governor Gary Locke and Governor Gregoire.
In a prepared statement, Gregoire praised Loveland for expanding the markets for Washington state agricultural products. Today, agriculture exports are at record highs.
Loveland was elected to the state Senate in 1992 and became caucus chair in her second term. In 1999, she assumed the chairmanship of the Senate Ways and Means committee where she presided for two sessions. She was defeated for re-election in 2000 by Mike Hewitt who is currently the Senate Republican leader.
Loveland’s retirement is effective May 5.