April 1, 2021

VARIOUS – As warmer weather returns and our nation’s agricultural communities gear up for summer events, the leaders of the agricultural departments in six Midwestern states released a video message today encouraging people to get vaccinated for COVID-19 when they are eligible.

Echoing a similar message released by the group in December, the new video features recommendations from the following commissioners, directors, and secretaries across the Midwest:

  • Jerry Costello II, Director, Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDA)
  • Dr. Ryan Quarles, Commissioner, Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA)
  • Thom Petersen, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA)
  • Gary McDowell, Director, Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD)
  • Dorothy Pelanda, Director, Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA)
  • Randy Romanski, Secretary-designee, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP)

The group of leaders joined together to share their appreciation for essential agricultural and food workers, who have never stopped working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. They shared that the three vaccines available to Americans (Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson) are safe and effective. They also emphasized the importance of continued mask wearing, social distancing, and hand washing to minimize the spread of COVID-19 while vaccination continues.

The full video can be found here. For more information on each state’s agricultural department, visit their websites:


Illinois media contact: Krista Lisser, (217) 670-9283, krista.lisser@illinois.gov
Kentucky media contact: Sean Southard, (502) 234-4702, sean.southard@ky.gov
Minnesota media contact: Margaret Hart, (651) 201-6131, margaret.hart@state.mn.us
Michigan media contact: Jennifer Holton, (517) 284-5724, holtonj@michigan.gov
Ohio media contact: Shelby Croft, (614) 429-7185, Shelby.Croft@agri.ohio.gov
Wisconsin media contact: Grace Atherton, (608) 224-5020, Grace.Atherton@wisconsin.gov