Commissioner of Agriculture

Denise Grimsley

  • Age: 58
  • City: Zolfo Springs
  • Family: Divorced, one child
  • Education: Master's degree
  • Master of business administration, University of Miami (2003)
  • Bachelor of arts in organizational management, Warner Southern College (1999)
  • Associate of science degree in nursing, Polk State College (1983)
  • Licensed practical nurse certificate, South Florida Community College (1979)
    • Recent job: Hospital administrator, Florida Hospital Wauchula (2013-present)
  • Hospital administrator, Florida Hospital Wauchula (2013-present)
  • Physician development, Highlands Regional Medical Center (2012-2013)
  • Independent consultant, Avatar International (2010-2012)
  • Nursing supervisor, Florida Hospital Heartland (2006-2009)
  • Vice president, Grimsley Groves Inc. (2006-present)
  • Partner, Eagle Properties LLC (2000-2006)
  • Vice president and chief operating officer, Grimsley Oil Co. (1996-2006)
  • Nurse manager-surgery, Florida Hospital Heartland Division (1994-1996)
  • Operating room staff nurse, Bartow Memorial Hospital (1992-1994)
  • Part-time staff nurse, Hardee Manor Nursing Home (1984-1986)
  • Nursing supervisor, Hardee Memorial Hospital (1977-1992)
  • Previous races


    Florida House of Representatives (2004-2012)

    Florida Senate (2012-present)

    Committees appointed to and serving on

  • Chairman, Senate Agriculture Committee
  • Appropriations Committee
  • Appropriations Subcommittee on Pre-K-12 Education
  • Banking and Insurance Committee
  • Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities Committee
  • Criminal Justice Committee
  • Joint Select Committee on Collective Bargaining
  • Yes
    No response
    Briefly highlight your key campaign issues and positions.
    Having run a business I understand the challenges of job creation. Running an emergency room, I learned the importance of triaging and managing crises at a moment’s notice. Running a farm, I know that many threats that come from frosts, freezes, pests, diseases, hurricanes and cyclical markets. I’m prepared to serve on Day One with solutions I have outlined to address rural Florida, workforce development and job creation, not to mention issues impacting our farmers, food supply and water resources. You can read the plans I have put in writing at
    Should your office's duties regulating firearm ownership be transferred to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement?
    Explain your position on which agency should oversee firearms ownership.
    I look forward to being hands-on and looking for efficiencies and better approaches throughout the Department. My goal is to ensure that Floridians who seek or renew concealed weapons permits find a safe, secure and reliable process. I think the Department (FDACS) is a reasonable location for administration of the concealed weapons permits process. FDACS has a robust and professional agriculture law enforcement division and additionally oversees licensing for a number of security-based fields.
    Should the agriculture commissioner become an advocate for renegotiating NAFTA?
    Explain your position on renegotiating NAFTA.
    As commissioner, I would encourage the President to stay the course until concessions are agreed to which, at a minimum, allow American producers to challenge violations of the agreement. We need the same trade remedies made available to our seasonal and perishable fruit and vegetables as any other commodity receives; specifically, we need better attention to use of anti-dumping and countervailing duties.
    Would you support moving consumer services into a separate agency?
    Explain your position on moving consumer services out of the agriculture department.
    The Department is fully capable of offering consumer services programs and I look forward to the opportunity as commissioner of expanding our public awareness efforts regarding consumer safety, fraud, and scams, as well as increasing our collaboration with the Attorney General and other law enforcement agencies to be sure we are aggressively pursuing bad actors who are victimizing Floridians. My consumer protection plan at outlines how we can build on past successes.
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