Gary Stockel, who was hired in 2014 to replace Vicki Helmar. In addition to his duties as Agricultural Commissioner, Stockel is Sealer of Weights and Measures, Air Pollution Control Officer, and Animal Control Director. He was born and raised in Hayward. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 1980 with a degree in forestry. He worked seasonally for the U.S. Forest Service in Idaho and in the Stanislaus National Forest (which straddles Tuolumne and three neighboring counties). He later joined the Alameda County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office as a trainee. “I had no clue what an ag commissioner was at the time,” he said, adding he’d heard about the job from an Alameda CAC senior agricultural biologist, Eric Lauritzen (later Monterey County’s long-time ag commissioner and, now, DPR special advisor). Stockel stayed on with Alameda from 1982 to 1990, and then took a job with San Joaquin County as a senior ag biologist, and in 1995 promoted to deputy ag commissioner in charge of the pesticide use enforcement program. He was later promoted to assistant ag commissioner in 2008 and stayed there until 2014.