LENWORTH FULTON, executive director of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, will take over the reins of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) with effect from Wednesday, May 1.
He succeeds Harold Spaulding who was confirmed in the position in January after being asked to steer the agency in the wake of the dismissal of chief executive officer Al Powell a year ago.
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Roger Clarke announced Fulton's "lateral" transfer at Monday's launch of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs annual Achievement Day at the Medallion Hall, St Andrew.
A trained agriculturalist, Fulton has served as top man at the youth organisation for more than 12 years, during which he has been credited with ramping up membership figures by instituting programmes to diversify the appeal to its target youth audience.
However, speaking with AgroGleaner after the function, Fulton praised the work of volunteers in building and maintaining the Jamaica 4-H Clubs over the years. He noted that many individuals who had served in this capacity for decades did so with a level of dedication and commitment unmatched by salaried staff.
Meanwhile, the agriculture ministry continues to operate without the services of a State minister, four months after Ian Hayles was transferred to the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change. However, his photo is still posted on the ministry's website, alongside the minister's picture, with a welcome note attached.
The post of director of communications also remains vacant following the dismissal of Cecil Thoms, who was fired on December 14, the same day Hayles parted company with the ministry.