Andy Holt 3.0? Former lawmaker lands job in Lee administration

Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) attends a meeting at the state Captiol in Nashville on Jan. 8, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Former state Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) has been named director of business development within the state Department of Agriculture.

Holt served in the House from 2010 through his retirement this November. He was mostly known for his firebrand politics until being named chairman of the powerful budget subcommittee by then-speaker Glen Casada (R-Franklin).

Following Casada’s fall from power, new speaker Cameron Sexton chose a new head of the panel, returning Holt to the backbench.

Holt, a prominent supporter of Bill Lee during the 2018 governor’s race, is the latest ex-lawmaker to join the administration. The position will pay Holt $92,700 per year.

Here’s the release announcing Holt’s hire.

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. has announced the addition of Andy Holt to the Business Development Division of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA). Holt will serve as Director of Business Development in support of economic development initiatives, as well as agriculture and forestry industry expansion.

“Rural economic development and recovery from the pandemic are priorities of the Department and Governor Bill Lee,” Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “TDA has been given the opportunity to lead projects focused on these priorities and the addition of Andy Holt will be a significant enhancement to our work. Andy’s personal and professional experience in farming, along with his education in agriculture and economics, will support our efforts towards recruitment, recovery, and expansion.”

Holt served in the Tennessee House of Representatives, District 76 covering Weakley County and parts of Carroll and Obion Counties from 2010 to 2020. During his tenure, Holt served on several committees and was chairman of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee. He and his wife, Ellie, own and operate Holt Family Farms, an agri-tourism and diversified livestock farming operation in Dresden. Holt is a former Financial Services Officer at Farm Credit Services and former Greenfield Fertilizer Manager at Weakley County Farmers Cooperative.

“As a first-generation farmer, I have chosen agriculture not only as my profession, but more importantly, my wife, Ellie, and I have chosen agriculture as a lifestyle for our family,” Holt said. “I appreciate and look forward to the opportunity to continue my service to the State of Tennessee in this new capacity, leveraging my relationships, knowledge, and skills to strengthen the agriculture industry and community. There are only two words on the Tennessee State Seal, and this new position will combine them both – Agriculture and Commerce. I will work to see both thrive during my service with the team at the Department of Agriculture.”

Holt’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics and Business with a minor in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee at Martin with a focus on Economics and Finance. He will begin his new duties with TDA in January.

46 Responses to Andy Holt 3.0? Former lawmaker lands job in Lee administration

  • Avatar
    Jason Wallflower says:

    Not qualified. Another high-paying job Lee gives away as a political favor to an absolutely crazy person.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      For those students who are using this forum to learn more about politics when a leftist calls someone a “crazy” that’s simply a leftist’s way of expressing frustration at a conservative with whom they deeply disagree when the conservative is outspoken in his disagreement with leftist dogma. It’s a cute vestigial carryover from a time when the communists in the Soviet Union used to put those who couldn’t appreciate the wonders of communism in mental institutions because you simply have to be “crazy” not to appreciate communism don’t you know.

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        Taxpayer #314 says:

        “For those students that want to use this forum to learn more about politics”… you should know that Stuart Anderson thinks he is the sole professor of this forum and he is one of those strict professors that truly believes that what he says goes. Do not try to argue with the man that knows it all, he knows way more than the rest of us and is glad to point out how much the rest of us are lacking when we give our “liberal” opinions. He even understands and quotes the secrete and mysterious heritage scores of some of the scoundrels discussed on this forum. He likes to quote or refer to communists (that is people that don’t think like he does) a lot and makes a lot of comparisons that don’t make sense but he is really just another frustrated “libertarian conservative”, nothing to worry about. He thinks he is the only adult on the forum but once in a while he does have some good comments to add to the discussion.

      • Avatar
        Jason Wallflower says:

        Ok, RINO.

        In regards to Andy Holt, nothing says “make government small” like taking a cushy government job.

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          Cryan says:

          Surely Stuart is not a RINO. I thought he stood with President Trump and demanded Marsha Blackburn “Stop the Steal” and pass $2,000 checks? Surely he doesn’t view President Trump’s supporters as a gullible means to an end?

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          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          You don’t have to be irrational to be a leftist, but then again, it doesn’t hurt. Surely Jason you know that whether or not anyone takes a pre-existing government job has nothing to do with the size of government, so the fabulous Andy Holt taking or not taking that job has nothing to do with the size of our state government.

          So far on this thread you’ve called Andy Holt “absolutely crazy,” you’ve called me a “RINO,” and you’ve accused someone taking a pre-existing job of expanding government. Seems your on a bad streak Jason.

  • Avatar
    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    Ah, the fabulous Andy Holt (ACU-88%) back in government again. So good to see!

  • Avatar
    Daisy Sommers says:

    I wonder if he will create a business program, on
    how to get pig poo out of trees? 🙄 Everyone knew this
    was coming, a sure Vegas Bet. 🙄

  • Avatar
    steve cates says:

    This guy could not even manage his pig farm!!! IT’s just a cushy payoff; he won’t do squat.

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    W. Schreiber says:

    People wonder why Tennessee is rated one of the most corrupt state governments…

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Rated by whom W., CNN or MSNBC.

    • Avatar
      Taxpayer #314 says:

      It is one of the most corrupt state governments because it is run overwhelmingly by republicans, that’s what they do, they feed off corruption, just look at the current trump administration; it is full of crooks and criminals right to the top. Lee is just following in trump’s footsteps and is dragging his crooked buddies along with him. Nice salary too, beats slopping hogs.

      • Avatar
        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        OK leftists lets shout the mindless Taxpayer cheer: “Everything Democrat Good-Good-Good; Everything Republican Bad-Bad-Bad.” (Please repeat three times) Feel better?

      • Avatar
        MARLE says:

        The Trump administration is Not full of crooks and criminals….that’s what exoneration, commutation and pardons are all about. Wiping the records clean. And he’s got 28 of more of the same. What a proud day for America. The pardon of Paul Manafort!

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    Republican Politics in Tennessee, what a racket.

  • Avatar
    Taxpayer #314 says:

    I repeat what Stuart says…Republicans…bad, bad, bad and no, it doesn’t make me feel better. I never said democrats good, good, good but at least better might be correct. I can’t believe that you can still even try to defend this current group of republicans and their entire criminal organization. Trump gets worse every day and more and more republicans finally turn against him. He left the WH today heading for Mar-A-Lago for more rest and relaxation/golf since he has been working so hard for “the people” these last few days/months-HA. He pardoned another 26 criminal friends before leaving today, some family, some just old business partners involved in various tax scams/crimes that could implicate his family or the GOP, NRA or all three…the usual republican neighborhood guys. None of this makes us feel better as Americans Stuart, and you should not be so proud of this type behavior from ANY president of the USA.

  • Avatar
    Phillip Lassiter says:

    Total sell out and total crap. Another job not posted during a hiring freeze. This man Holt has committed mor em environmental problems many who are in prison for less. He is a total supporter of Crazy Mayor Cooper and has migrated from being a conservative to a left leaning moderate. Amazing how we don’t get better people in government

  • Avatar
    Beatrice Shaw says:

    I bet this job pays over 100,00K. There is no hope for most of us. The Republicans are blocking a 2000 check to us also!!! This country is rich enough to send EVERY household that make less than 60k a month a check for $2000 EVERY month!!! We all need to make at least 100k to survive. Get the right people in power!!

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    Cannoneer2 says:

    https://www.newschannel5.com/news/whats-in-the-water-tennessees-water-pollution-problems-are-becoming-more-widespread

    People like Holt are responsible for Tennessee becoming more and more polluted.

  • Avatar
    Cannoneer2 says:

    Well, Governor? Where are the cushy jobs for Van Huss and the Hills???

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Now that’s a great question Cannoneer. I was so saddened by the defeat of Van Huss (ACU-90%), Mathew Hill (ACU-89%) and Timothy Hill (ACU-88%) (though I think Diana Harshbarger is going to be a good one) and I have been worried sick about how these great legislators are getting on after their defeat so I think it would be great if Gov. Lee burnish his conservative bona fides by finding a place in state government for these great Tennesseans.

      • Avatar
        MARLE says:

        Yes if the electorate process is not your friend then by all means call on the patronage process to provide you slop at the public trough.

  • Avatar
    Fritz says:

    Andy Holt represented his district extremely well. I am proud of his service to the state and the district. I recognize that many do not appreciate honesty and forthright actions in a politician but I will continue to support those like Representative Holt. Tennessee needs more like him

  • Avatar
    Mike says:

    Holt has being trying to get a job with TN Ag Dep’t since before he left the legislature. He has been calling around for months talking with anybody that could help him land a job. A little surprised that Lee hired the guy since he was involved with the failed “Rocky Top” blog that attacked any and every Republican that didn’t look like them. You know the crowd; Gill, Ogles and company. Anyway congratulations Andy you aren’t a Deputy Commissioner but it’s better than being unemployed.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      I know the crowd, Andy Holt, “Gill, Ogles and company” and they don’t all look the same. “Rocky Top” was simply a very amusing blog bringing to light the foibles of members of the General Assembly and other parts of the government in Nashville. That part of what you said is wrong which casts a deep dark shadow on everything else you said I’m afraid.

  • Avatar
    Mike says:

    The only dark shadow was the one Rocky Top blog employed by cowering behind a pseudonym. There is no doubt you thought it funny Stewart but to those people within the GOP they maligned it was just another form of political cowardice. I also know the crowd and the tactics they use.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      There is nothing new in “Rocky Top” which was just a gossipy outlet like millions of others that were syndicated in newspapers throughout the years. My only problem with your characterization was that the subjects of the blog was that the subjects of their articles were “. . .Republicans who didn’t look like them.” For example, I remember when my friend Glen Casada’s (ACU-88%) off the House floor social life was the subject of “Rocky Top’s” coverage. Ideologically Glen is very much like “the crowd” you were talking about. I don’t think Glen was amused at the time.

  • Avatar
    Mike says:

    Relax Stewart; “Republican’s who didn’t look like them” was a metaphor. You know what a metaphor is; right? I am sure if you tried you could find more exceptions than just Casada but to understand Rocky Top is to know it was more about politics than it was ideology. Gill and Ogles created it and Holt fed them info. so they could continue to hide behind a pseudonym. Now Ogles wants to be governor… I can’t wait for that clown to announce.

  • Avatar
    Joe Carr says:

    Not only is Andy Holt qualified (he has his MBA) he is also deserving. Congratulations Andy.

  • Avatar
    Cannoneer2 says:

    In a few weeks, the Governor is going to appear before the Legislature with proposed cuts across all departments. Larding up the executive ranks in the face of a supposed fiscal crisis or upheaval is not the act of a conservative. I also have my doubts that Mr. Holt is the best qualified person available for this position, or that any attempt was made to search beyond the one favored person.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Of course you’re probably right Cannoneer. What the hell does Gov. Lee think he is doing appointing a guy with a B.S. in Agricultural Economics with a minor in Animal Science, an MBA in Economics and Finance together having served ten years in the General Assembly as an official in the Dept. of Agriculture of all places. Now if he only had a PhD in Education. . . .

      • Avatar
        Cannoneer2 says:

        I disn’t say he wasn’t qualified. I question whether he is the BEST qualified person available. Seems that these things are handled in a similar manner to no bid contracts. Also, why are we paying top dollar for these advisors? Tennessee is paying tens of thousands more for these salaries than similar positions in any state that borders Tennessee.

        • Avatar
          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          I do believe you are talking about the desirability of a free market in employment where the terms of employment are determined by the supply and demand of employees of a certain caliber with certain credentials. Music to my ears Cannoneer! Sign me up!

          We may be overpaying for talent working for the Tennessee government. Perhaps it may be worth while for the General Assembly to hire a good management consulting firm to evaluate the situation. All I know as I look around at the states that border us there is no place I rather live than Tennessee, and since positions in state government are a place where state legislators may find themselves someday I don’t think possibly cutting the salaries of high state government officials will be very high on the agenda of the General Assembly anytime soon.

          • Avatar
            Taxpayer #314 says:

            Hey, it’s a great deal, if you are on the bus! “Libertarian conservatives” just don’t understand the public’s dislike for “no bid government contracts.” That takes the free market one step further into republican territory with just a soft touch of dirty tricks. If you support no bid contracts to your friends, it will add about 10 of those coveted mystery heritage points to your score. Republicans just don’t understand that difference.

          • Avatar
            Cannoneer2 says:

            Yes, that’s what I was getting at. I wasn’t specifically picking on Andy Holt either. As for paying top dollar, I don’t think any of the politicians that found their way into post political executive service positions would turn those positions down if they paid $90k, for example, as that’s still way more than most of them previously earned.

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