TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (FOX 13) - Adam Putnam is returning to his roots, but he’s leaving home to make it happen.
The former Department of Agriculture commissioner has been named CEO of the conservation group Ducks Unlimited, which he first joined as a teenager.
“I joined the group when I was 16 and I went to my first banquet with my dad and brothers,” Putnam said.
Putnam says he plans to help the group adapt for the future.
“There are opportunities for us to build stronger relationships for agriculture: farmer’s, particularly in the Midwest, upper Midwest, the Great Plains,” he said. “So we need more collaboration and partnership between agriculture and the conservation community.”
Duck unlimited works to conserve waterfowl habitats, a big change from what Putnam had planned. He lost the Republican primary for governor last August. His primary opponent Ron DeSantis went on to the governor's mansion-- and Putnam says he's doing a good job.
"I think he's off to a terrific start,” Putnam said. “He's put a great team around him; he's got good legislative support. He's embraced the expertise of the house and senate members who have been around for a long time. And I think he's doing a good job, and the public recognizes that."
As for his new job, it’s a mix of everything he loves.
“It’s one foot in public service, one foot in the grassroots,” he said.
The new job takes him to Tennessee, away from the state he loves, but Putnam says Florida will always be home.
"I'm going to be back and forth an awful lot, and there's still good ole Florida swamp muck between my toes,” he said.