Governor Mark Dayton appointed Dave Frederickson to the position of Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture in January 2011. Frederickson’s family roots in farming go back to 1873, and he and his wife, Kay operated a farm in Murdock for more than 20 years.
Frederickson was elected to the Minnesota State Senate in 1986, and was reelected to the post in 1990. He represented constituents in Swift, Yellow Medicine, Lac Qui Parle, Chippewa, and Redwood Counties. As a senator he served on a variety of committees, including agriculture and rural development, education, government operations, taxes and tax laws, and local and urban government. He chaired the Agriculture and Rural Development Subcommittee on Agriculture Resources during the 1991 and 1992 sessions.
From 1991 to 2002, Frederickson served as president of the Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU). He subsequently served as president of the National Farmers Union (NFU) from 2002 to 2006. In both organizations, he worked on federal farm policy and other issues important to farmers and ranchers.
From 2007 to 2010, Frederickson worked as agricultural outreach director for U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar. In that capacity, he helped lead listening sessions around the state and talked frequently with Minnesota farmers, ranchers and rural residents about the federal issues that mattered most to them.
Frederickson earned a degree in education from St. Cloud State University. He also performed graduate work in special education at St. Cloud State. After graduating, he taught in Mora and St. Cloud, as well as a small town in the state of Wyoming.
Commissioner Frederickson has received numerous awards and honors, including the NFU’s Meritorious Award in 2009 for his years of service on behalf of Minnesota and American farmers.
Commissioner Frederickson’s farm background and his wide range of experience in public service have given him unique insights into the challenges facing Minnesota’s agricultural industry. As a state senator and in his positions at MFU and NFU, Frederickson earned a reputation as a strong advocate for farmers and agricultural issues, education and tax reform. Today, he is particularly focused on maintaining and building Minnesota’s food safety programs and on helping Minnesota farmers deal with unstable commodity prices and rising input costs. Farm groups from around the state praise him for his personable approach and his ability to work with people of all backgrounds and perspectives toward common goals.