Deputy Commissioner Ron Carleton Bio

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Ron Carleton
Colorado Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture


Ron Carleton, of Fort Collins, assumed his role as deputy commissioner in June 2012. In that time, he has focused much of his efforts on Colorado’s continuing drought, farm bill policies, industrial hemp, and the Colorado State Fair. Carleton served on the Governor’s Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force, and is currently the Chair of the Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council.  

Additional duties for the deputy commissioner includes coordinating policy development and implementation, oversee the management of the Department’s divisions, and assisting the Commissioner in achieving the Department goals.

“Ronnie has dedicated his professional career to serving the people of this great country and I’m confident that Colorado’s agricultural industry will benefit from his vast experiences,” said Commissioner of Agriculture John T. Salazar. 

Carleton, who worked for over thirty years in the US Congress, comes to the Colorado Department of Agriculture with considerable experience in agricultural policy. As a legislative assistant and legislative director, he covered not only agricultural issues, but also energy, environment, water, and land management issues. Most recently, as Chief of Staff to then Colorado Congressman John Salazar, Carleton helped develop and guide agriculture policy, assisting with work on the House Agriculture Committee and the 2008 Farm Bill.  

A resident of Fort Collins, Carleton holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Houston, a masters’ degree from the American University, and a law degree from George Mason University School of Law. In addition to his work in Congress, Carleton was also an Adjunct Professor with the School of Business at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, teaching classes on Public Policy and Administrative Law.