Office of the Secretary

2320 South DuPont Highway
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 698-4500
Phone: (800) 282-8685 (Toll-Free in Delaware)
TDD users should call the Delaware Relay Service at (800) 282-5460 for assistance.


Michael Scuse Secretary of Agriculture

Michael T. Scuse was nominated as Delaware Secretary of Agriculture by Gov. John Carney and confirmed by the Delaware State Senate on Jan. 25, 2017.

A lifelong farmer and native Delawarean, Secretary Scuse previously served with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as acting U.S. secretary of agriculture, acting deputy secretary of agriculture, and under secretary for farm and foreign agricultural services. As under secretary, he oversaw USDA's Farm Service Agency, Risk Management Agency, and Foreign Agricultural Services. He led initiatives to improve the competitiveness of American products in the global marketplace, create new markets to increase rural economic opportunity, and deliver arm assistance that help keep America's farmers and ranchers in business. He also served as president of the Commodity Credit Corporation, working to stabilize and support farm income and prices while helping maintain balance and adequate supplies of agricultural products.

Secretary Scuse previously served as Delaware secretary of agriculture from 2001-2008, and also served as chief of staff to former Gov. Ruth Ann Minner. During his term as secretary, he served as vice-president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and president of the Northeast Association of State Departments of Agriculture. He previously served as chairman of the Kent County Regional Planning Commission and chairman of USDA's Delaware Farm Service Committee.

He has received the Medal of Achievement from the Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc., in 2006, and the Secretary's Award for Distinguished Service to Delaware Agriculture in 2012.

Secretary Scuse and his wife, Patrice, live in Smyrna on a corn, soybean and wheat farm that has been in their family for generations.


Austin Short Deputy Secretary

Austin Short has served as deputy secretary of agriculture since 2010. A former state forester, he also heads Delaware's farmland preservation program and planning staff. He was state forester from 1995 to 2008, served as the National Association of State Foresters President in 2006-2007, and has served as acting secretary of agriculture. He holds a B.S. in forestry and an M.S. in forest biometrics from Virginia Tech; he and his wife Kelley and their sons Eli and Henry live on their family farm near Georgetown, which includes a tree farm and small sawmill.


Kenny Bounds Deputy Secretary

Kenny Bounds has served Delaware farmers for nearly four decades as an executive with MidAtlantic Farm Credit, retiring in 2015 as senior vice president. He previously was director of government affairs and Delmarva regional manager. A longtime advocate for agriculture, he also served as president of the Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc., trade group and president of the LEAD Maryland Foundation. He was honored with the Secretary's Award for Distinguished Service to Delaware Agriculture in 2016. He holds a degree in Agronomy - Soils from the University of Maryland, College Park, is active in the Boy Scouts of America, and lives near Laurel.