Director & Leadership

Director of the Department of Agriculture

Mark Killian has been involved in Arizona State government since 1983. District 30 voters first elected him to the Arizona House of Representatives at the young age of 27. He quickly went to work and represented his district very well as the Vice Chairman of the Agriculture Committee. A few years later, he became the Chairman of the Public Institutions committee and two years later he earned Chairman of the Ways and Means committee. After his work on those committees, Representatives elected him Republican Majority Leader. In 1992, Mr. Killian earned their support and became Speaker of the House; he served in that capacity for two terms. While in his leadership positions, he was awarded the Republican Legislator of the year award and recognized as the Public Official of the year by Governing Magazine. After 14 years in the Arizona House of Representatives, Governor Fife Symington appointed him to serve as the Director of the Arizona Department of Revenue where he served as its director for almost six years.

In 2010, Governor Jan Brewer appointed Mr. Killian as a member of the Arizona Board of Regents. During his five-year term, he served as Board Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer.

 In April 2015, Governor Doug Ducey appointed Mr. Killian the director of the Department of Agriculture. Mr. Killian was the prime sponsor of the legislation the created the Arizona Department of Agriculture in the early 1990s while serving in the Arizona Legislature.

Mr. Killian comes from a family that has been involved in Agriculture in Arizona for more than 100 years. His family farming and ranching operations spanned Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky and California. Currently the Killian family is farming 1500 acres land in Pinal County, Arizona and ranching in Graham and Cochise counties in Arizona. The ranching operations runs cattle on 160,000 acers of land with a cow herd of 500. Mr. Killian also owns and operates a registered Angus cattle herd that produces bulls for the family ranching operation and markets to local ranchers in Arizona.

He not only works in agriculture, but he and his brother own and operate a commercial real estate brokerage; Mr. Killian has been a licensed real estate broker in Arizona for almost 35 years specializing in the management of shopping centers and the development of small suburban office buildings.

Mr. Killian is also the chairman of the Green Reservoir Flood Control District and the Chairman of the Lower Santa Cruz River Alliance.

He has also been active in the Boy Scouts of America earning his Eagle Scout Award and serving in many youth and adult leadership positions.

He is married to his wife Nancy (Nancy comes from a long time farming family in Arizona) for 40 years and they have six children and 14 grandchildren.

Mr. Killian earned his Bachelor’s Degree in business administration with a specialization of real estate and urban planning from Arizona State University in 1981. 

Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture

Jeff Grant, our new 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 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 for Speaker Mark Killian.

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

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.

Assistant Director of the Office of Commodity Development and Promotion 

 

Position Vacant

 

Legislative Liaison/Public Information Officer

Rob Smook

602-542-3032

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

Deanie Reh

Phone Number:  602-542-8322

 

Divisions of the Department of Agriculture

 

Animal Services 

    Vacant  - Jack Peterson, ESD serving on an interim basis.

Citrus Fruit and 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 Services

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 his current job as the Associate Director of the Environmental Services Division.  Programs within this division include: the consumer protection program for pesticide, feed, seed, and fertilizer; the pesticide compliance and worker safety programs relating to pesticide use in agriculture; and finally licensing, which includes certification, brands, licensing, and registration for many of the department’s programs including the Native Plant program.  

Jack has been married to his wife for 37 years and has two children both married and graduates of the University of Arizona.  His daughter lives in Marana and is blessed to be a stay at home mom with her children.  His son is the logistics manager for shipping company in Kansas City. His wife is the first grade teacher that everyone wants their children to have in the Spanish Immersion Program in the Cave Creek School District with her 34 years of teaching experience. 

Pest Management Division

Vince Craig is a native to the great state of Arizona.  He has worked in State government for over 27 years.  He has worked for the Pest Management Division for the past 26 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 an Associate Director.  Prior to working for the PMD, he worked 2 years on the administrate 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.  He has 2 adorable cats.  And, in his spare time enjoys community outreach, video editing and photography.

Plant Services

John Caravetta received his Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Agronomy from Purdue University in Indiana. Following completion of his Master’s program, John spent five years as a County Agricultural Extension Agent in Indiana’s largest agricultural county. Following development of a sound background in production agriculture, John joined American Cyanamid Company, a $1 billion global agricultural chemicals enterprise. John ended his career with American Cyanamid as their Western States Regional Manager before coming to the Arizona Department of Agriculture in 1998. John has been with the department 19 years as the Associate Director overseeing the Plant Services Division. Additionally, John currently serves as Vice-President of the National Plant Board, a 50-state organization representing Departments of Agriculture’s State Plant Regulatory Officials.

Weights and Measures Services Division

Kevin Allen joined the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures in August of 2015 as an investigator.  In 2017 he was promoted into a compliance manager position where he supervised the Cleaner Burning Gasoline (CBG) and gasoline vapor recovery programs. In November of 2019, Kevin became a Team Lead (field supervisor) before being promoted to Associate Director of the Weights and Measures Services Division in April of 2020.

 

Kevin is an Arizona native, an Eagle Scout, and holds a bachelor's degree from Arizona State University in Parks and Recreation Management. Prior to his service with the State of Arizona, Kevin held positions in the public utility, hospitality, and public safety industries.

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