Meet the Staff

Agriculture Commissioner, Dr. Charlie Hatcher

Dr. Charlie Hatcher, Commissioner
(615) 837-5100
Dr. Charlie Hatcher was appointed by Governor Bill Lee and sworn in as Tennessee's 38th Commissioner of Agriculture in January 2019. Prior to becoming Commissioner, Hatcher served as the State Veterinarian for Tennessee for a decade. In that role, he protected the health and welfare of animals within the state and promoted the marketability of animals and animal products. Hatcher is a tenth generation American farmer and fifth generation Tennessee farmer. Read more

Agriculture Deputy Commissioner, Tom Womack

Jeff Aiken, Deputy Commissioner
(615) 837-5103
Jeff Aiken oversees day-to-day operations for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. He collaborates on policy development and supports programs and services ranging from food safety, animal and plant health, pesticides and consumer protection to forestry and agricultural development. Before his post at TDA, Aiken led the Tennessee Farm Bureau as president for six years. Aiken and his wife, Carol, farm with family members and manage their more than 900-acre family operation in Telford, Tenn. Read more

Agriculture Assistant Commissioner for Admin and Grants Chris Eaton

Chris Eaton, Assistant Commissioner for Administration and Grants
(615) 837-5191
Chris Eaton serves as the chief financial officer for the department and is responsible for budgeting, forecasting, and analyzing, preparing, and reconciling financial statements. He works closely with members of Tennessee’s legislature and manages the department’s budget hearings. Before joining TDA, Eaton was Chief Financial Officer at the Tennessee Public Utility Commission and he previously served on the Fiscal Review Committee of the Tennessee General Assembly. Eaton and his wife, Meredith, live in Hermitage, Tenn. with two sons and five family pets. Read more

Agriculture Asst. Commissioner, Carol Coley McDonald

Carol Coley McDonald, Assistant Commissioner for Policy and Legislation
(615) 837-5172 
Carol McDonald serves as the department's liaison to the Tennessee General Assembly and directs policy and program development in areas ranging from food safety, pesticides, and consumer protection to forestry and agricultural development. McDonald also works to support youth programs, career and technical education, beginning farmers, and rural health. Prior to joining the department in 2011, she served as an Extension agent in Smith County, coordinating 4-H activities. She has also worked in education and has extensive experience in agribusiness. Read more

Heather Slayton, State Forester and Assistant Commissioner, 2024

Heather Slayton, State Forester and Assistant Commissioner for Forestry
(615) 837-5432
Heather Slayton serves as Tennessee State Forester and Assistant Commissioner for the Forestry Division. She is responsible for directing the activities of the division in state forest management, wildland fire prevention and suppression, reforestation, landowner assistance programs, forest health initiatives, urban forestry programs, and forest inventory. Slayton calls Rutherford County home and enjoys time spent working on her small farm. Read more

Agriculture Division Director, Danny Sutton

Danny Sutton, Assistant Commissioner for Consumer and Industry Services
(615) 837-5534
Danny Sutton is responsible for the administration and implementation of regulatory programs affecting consumer protection and safety. His responsibilities include food and dairy; weights and measures; petroleum quality; feed, seed, and fertilizers; grain dealers and warehouses; pesticides; plant health; and prevention of youth access to tobacco. He previously served as the Dairy Administrator and has hands-on experience as a fuel quality and food safety inspector. Read more

Agriculture Assistant Commissioner, Dr. Balthaser

Dr. Samantha Beaty, State Veterinarian and Assistant Commissioner for Animal Health
(615) 837-5120
Dr. Samantha Beaty is responsible for monitoring and protecting animal health in Tennessee. She works with private veterinarians, animal pathologists, and a network of animal disease diagnostic laboratories to identify diseases and make a definitive diagnosis in cases of animal deaths. Dr. Beaty comes to the role with 18 years of veterinary medicine experience, joining TDA in 2016 as a staff veterinarian. Read more

Agriculture Director of Human Resources, Liz Sneed

Dr. Adam Travis, Ag Laboratory Administrator
(615) 313-4986
Dr. Adam Travis manages the Division of Technical Services, including the C. E. Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory. His team performs regulatory testing for feed, fertilizer, food, dairy, pesticides, and hemp. They also provide diagnostic services to veterinarians, producers, companion animal owners, and animal health officials. A native Tennessean, Dr. Travis has been with the department since 2017, initially entering state service as a chemist. Read more

Agriculture Asst. Commissioner for Public Affairs, Corinne Gould

Corinne Gould, Assistant Commissioner for Public Affairs
(615) 837-5207
Corinne Gould oversees internal and external communications and provides administrative support for media relations, policy development, and all agency programs. Gould joined the department in 2014 after a decade-long career as a television news producer where she was recognized with a regional Emmy award and a national Emmy award nomination. She previously served the department as director of communications. Read more

Andy Holt, Assistant Comissioner for Business Development Division

Andy Holt, Assistant Commissioner for Business Development
(615) 837-5160
Andy Holt is tasked with overseeing operations for the Business Development Division. Holt manages a team of Ag Business Consultants, multiple cost-share grant programs, and the Market News and Livestock Grading Program. Prior to his post at the department, Holt was a member of the Tennessee General Assembly for 10 years representing House District 76, which included all of Weakley and portions of Carroll and Obion Counties. Holt and his wife, Ellie, own and operate a diversified farming operation outside of Dresden where they reside with their seven children. Read more

Jay Miller, General Counsel

Jay Miller, General Counsel
(615) 837-5341
Jay Miller directs provision of all legal services to the department for matters requiring representation or counsel, including matters related to licensing and enforcement, public records compliance, legislative and regulatory analysis, policy formation, and human resource functions. Miller also oversees the department’s Agricultural Crime Unit. He previously served as counsel to the department’s Division of Consumer and Industry Services and Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Tennessee Attorney General and Reporter.  Read more

Agriculture Director of Human Resources, Liz Sneed

Liz Sneed, Human Resources Business Partner
(615) 837-5115
Liz Sneed has served as the department's Human Resources Business Partner with oversight of all human resources functions since 2006. This includes benefits, classification and compensation, employee relations, payroll, and HR transactions. Sneed holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Western Kentucky University. She has completed one year of graduate coursework at Middle Tennessee State University in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Read more