CEO & Leadership

CEO & EDD of the Department of Agriculture

Paul E. Brierley, CEO & EDD of the Arizona Department of Agriculture, was raised working on his family’s diversified farm. After earning a computer science degree, he returned to production agriculture in southeast Arizona.

He worked with producers across Arizona as Farm Bureau’s Director of Organization for 10 years. Then, in 2014 became the founding Executive Director of the University of Arizona’s Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture, which he built into a highly effective agricultural research organization. 

On June 26, 2023, Paul took over the reins as CEO & EDD of the Arizona Department of Agriculture under the appointment of Governor Katie Hobbs. He is highly respected and represents the best of our agricultural industry in Arizona, and will no doubt succeed in leading the Department with diligence, respect, and a deep understanding of the work involved.


Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture

Jeff Grant, our Deputy Director, was born in Kansas, but moved to Arizona in 1967 when he was seven years old.  He graduated from Sunnyslope High School and Arizona State University. Jeff married his high school sweetheart Elizabeth. They have three (3) children—Alex, Jake and Katie.

Jeff started his state government career in 1987 when he was hired at the Arizona House of Representatives to staff the Public Institutions Committee. He went on to serve as the Special Assistant to the Majority Leader and Chief of Staff.

In 1997, Jeff moved to the Arizona Department of Revenue where he served as the Deputy Director.

From 2004-2007, Jeff served as the Director of Programs and Advocacy for the Arizona State University Alumni Association.

In 2007, Jeff became the Director of the Corporations Division at the Arizona Corporation Commission where he served until 2011 when he was named the Deputy Director at the Arizona Department of Administration.


Executive Assistant to the CEO & EDD


Cheryl Andersen

The Office of Commodity Development and Promotion 


Assistant Director Position Vacant


Legislative Liaison/Public Information Officer

Robert Smook


Arizona Attorney General's Office and Legal Counsel to the Department

Deanie Reh



Divisions of the Department of Agriculture


Animal Services Division

Robert Smook

[email protected]


Citrus Fruit & Vegetable Standardization / Federal State Inspection Service

Ed Foster was born and raised in Casa Grande, Arizona. He was a regular hand on the farm as soon as he could swing a hoe. The Foster Farm grew various crops, mainly cotton, alfalfa, grain, safflower, but also some watermelons and then later lettuce for Bud Antle.  He graduated from Casa Grande Union High School and then attended Mesa Community College. After college, Ed began work for the Federal State Inspection Service (FSIS) based in Phoenix. He worked for FSIS for five years before joining the Arizona Citrus, Fruit and Vegetable Standardization in 1979. Ed started as an inspector and later became the Assistant Supervisor for CFV. After 18 years of work, Ed departed CFV. In 1997, he worked for Empire Fruit Company in Queen Creek, Arizona for five years. Although he enjoyed working in the Citrus Industry, housing development had replaced all of the citrus groves in the Chandler Heights area and led him to his next opportunity. In 2002, Weyerhaeuser started developing business in the West in order to build a new bulk packaging plant in Exeter, California.  Ed then became Weyerhaeuser’s Sales Engineer for the bulk packaging for the Southwest region. He won several sales awards and excelled in bringing new business to the company. After seven great years, the Weyerhaeuser Corporation decided to sell their whole packaging division to International Paper. Soon after the acquisition Ed returned to the AZDA as the Assistant Director of Citrus, Fruit and Vegetable Standardization. Ed now lives in the Casa Grande - Eloy area with his wife of eleven years, Suzette. Ed has one child, his son Randall.


Environmental & Plant Services Division

Jack Peterson grew up working on a family farm in Minnesota, received a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from North Dakota State University (Go Bison!) and then spent 10 years working in North Dakota, as an engineer, an educator and a regulator. He moved to Arizona in 1994 to begin as the Associate Director of the Environmental Services Division.  In 2021 former Director Killian combined the Environmental Services Division and the Plant Services Division.  Programs in the Environmental Services Section include: the consumer protection program for pesticide, feed, seed, and fertilizer and the pesticide compliance and worker safety programs relating to pesticide use in agriculture.  Programs in the Plant Services Section include:  plant quarantine and pest exclusion which helps keep green industry commerce flowing while at the same time by working with industry, it provides protections to consumers from unwanted nasty pests.  The hemp program is also here working intensively with the USDA to have an acceptable state program and is helping the grower community with this emerging crop.  

Jack has been married to his wife of 40 years.  They have two children and two grandchildren.


Pest Management Division

Vince Craig is a native to the great state of Arizona.  He has worked in State-government for over 33 years.  He has worked for the Pest Management Division (PMD) for the past 32 years (formerly, Office of Pest Management and  prior to that, the Structural Pest Control Commission).  He has served as a Compliance Inspector, Continuing Education Coordinator, Investigations Supervisor, Deputy Director, Compliance Manager and now serves as the Associate Director of the Division.  Prior to working for the PMD, he worked 2 years on the administrative side for a pest control firm. He has been married to the love of his life since 1990-- which almost coincides with the length of time he has served in State-government.  In his spare time, he enjoys community outreach and photography.



Weights and Measures Services Division

Mike Brooks began with the Arizona Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures Services Division in June 2016 as an Investigator serving Northern Arizona.  Mike was promoted to Compliance Officer in December 2018, Compliance Manager (managing commercial device and retail programs) in February 2022, and Assistant Director in August 2023. Mike has also had leadership positions with the Western Weights and Measures Association and the National Conference on Weights and Measures.

Before coming to AZDA, Mike worked in the transportation and retail industries.


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