Tom Lipetzky

CO Dept of Agriculture
State/County Departments Of Agriculture (Staff)
2018 - 2020

Tom Lipetzky is the Director of Marketing Programs for the Colorado Department of Agriculture, a position he has held since 2006.  He has responsibility for the state’s agricultural marketing programs including export development, domestic and direct marketing programs, Colorado Proud, the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board and the state’s eight market order programs.  The Markets Division also provides size and grade inspections for more than 2 billion pounds of fruits and vegetables annually assuring buyers of the quality and condition of Colorado produce shipments.  Additionally, Markets Division staff conducts audits for producers and handlers seeking verification under USDA’s Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) programs.  From January 2010 to October 2011, Tom served as the Department’s Chief Financial & Operations Officer.

Tom was instrumental in helping Colorado’s cantaloupe growers to recover from the 2011 listeria outbreak.  Working together with the Rocky Ford Growers Association, Tom helped to guide communications and promotional activities to re-establish consumer confidence in Rocky Ford cantaloupe.  This work was recognized by the North American Agricultural Marketing Officials (NAAMO) with its prestigious Marketing Excellence Award and was the topic of a case study at Purdue University’s Food & Agribusiness Executive Seminar.

Tom was recently elected as Vice President of both NAAMO and the Colorado FFA Foundation.  He also serves on the Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council, the Governor’s Financial Review Committee, the International Committee of the National Western Stock Show, and the Colorado Advisory Committee of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.  Tom previously served as Chairman of the Policy Committee of the Western U.S. Agricultural Trade Association, a FAS “cooperator” organization of the 13 western states and was co-lead in the development of the Blueprint 1.0 for Colorado’s Food & Agriculture key industry network.

Prior to joining the Department, Tom was Vice President for Program Planning & Development with the U.S. Meat Export Federation.  He also worked as the Chief Operating Officer of an association management company for agricultural associations and served as the Vice President, International Marketing for the National Potato Research & Promotion Board.  Earlier in his career, he worked in various policy analysis, economic, and marketing roles with the North Dakota and United States departments of agriculture.  Tom’s work has taken him to nearly every state and some 50 countries worldwide.

He was raised on a grain and livestock farm in North Dakota and remains involved in the management of his family’s farm.  He earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agriculture with concentrations in Agricultural Economics and Marketing from North Dakota State University.