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Jai Templeton, Commissioner


Jai Templeton was appointed by Governor Bill Haslam and sworn in as Tennessee's 37th Commissioner of Agriculture in May 2016. Prior to joining the department as Deputy Commissioner in June 2011, he served as mayor of McNairy County, leading that county's successful efforts to reduce debt and increase fund balances without raising taxes during the economic recession. He is a sixth generation farmer producing grain, cotton, hay, cattle and timber in McNairy and Hardin Counties.

Templeton is a former McNairy county commissioner and former president of the McNairy County Chamber of Commerce. From 1995 to 2003, he served as a field representative for former U.S. Representative Ed Bryant, covering the rural portion of Tennessee's Seventh Congressional District. He also served as a delegate to the 2004 Republican National Convention.

He has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Union University in Jackson, Tenn. Templeton is a graduate of the UT Certified Public Administrator program and the Nashville Auction School, as well as the UTM WestStar, Leadership McNairy County, AgStar, Tennessee Government Executive Institute and Delta Regional Authority Leadership Institute professional development programs.  He has served as president of the Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

Templeton is a member of the Agricenter International Board of Directors, the UT Board of Trustees, the McNairy-Chester County Cattlemen's Association, the Tennessee Board of Regents, the McNairy County Forestry Landowner's Association, the Tennessee Farm Bureau, Masonic Lodge #338, O.E.S. Chapter #330, the National Cattleman's Beef Association, Memphis Ag Club, Mid-South and First Farmer’s Cooperatives and a former board member of the Tennessee Cattlemen's Association.

He is a member of the First Baptist Church of Adamsville and Gideon’s International.

He and his wife, Allison, reside on the family farm in Stantonville, Tenn.  They have three children-- Canon and Eliza Smith, Mycaela Rhodes and husband, Alex.