NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has named Jai Templeton as the state’s commissioner of agriculture.

Templeton, who is currently the department’s deputy commissioner, will succeed retiring Commissioner Julius Johnson.

Templeton is a former mayor of McNairy County. He and his family have produced grain, cotton, hay, timber and cattle for six generations in McNairy and Hardin counties.

Templeton also served as a field representative for then-U.S. Rep. Ed Bryant and as president of the McNairy County Chamber of Commerce. He earned his undergraduate degree from Union University in Jackson, and also graduated from the University of Tennessee Certified Public Administrator program.

Johnson joined Haslam’s Cabinet in 2011 after serving for 37 years at the Tennessee Farm Bureau, including 15 years as chief administrative officer.