The Commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is retiring after eight years in that job. Leonard Blackham’s tenure included a four-year battle to keep Japanese beetles from getting established in Utah.
“I mean, if that got away from us," Blackham told KUER, "we would have had infestations of that occasionally like we do with Mormon crickets and that kinda bugs. People would have looked out their window one morning and their garden would have been gone.”
Before he was appointed by Governor Jon Huntsman in 2005, Blackham was in the Utah Senate for 12 years as well as serving a term as a Sanpete County Commissioner. He’ll stay on until January. Blackham says he’s looking forward to going back to his home in Moroni, raising turkeys and just working around the farm.