Associated Press Published

Longtime Ag. Commissioner Gus Douglass Dies


Gus Douglass, who was the nation’s longest-serving agriculture chief, has died at age 88.

Douglass’ family says in a statement that he died Thursday morning after a fall at his home in Mason County.

Douglass was elected as West Virginia’s agriculture commissioner 11 times. He served six terms between 1964 and 1984, and five more between 1992 and 2012. He did not seek re-election in 2012.

The Democrat testified repeatedly before Congress on farming issues. He also chaired the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture’s Advisory Committee on Foreign Animal and Poultry Diseases four times.

Douglas also was the only West Virginian ever elected national president of the Future Farmers of America. He presided over the first FFA conference following World War II.