Rick Pate grew up working his family’s cattle and poultry farm in Lowndes County, where he learned the value of hard work and perseverance. Because of his roots in agriculture, he studied ornamental horticulture and received his bachelor’s degree in 1978 from Auburn University’s College of Agriculture.
Rick Pate was elected Commissioner of Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries in 2018 out of four in Republican primary. He was re-elected in 2022 without Republican or Democratic Party opposition.
Pate put his degree and determination to work and started Pate Landscape Co., Inc. in 1982. Under Pate’s leadership, the company has been profitable and award winning. His focus on building relationships in the community through both professional and civic organizations and his commitment to install quality work are what Pate credits his success to. He plans to continue these philosophies during his service as Commissioner of Agriculture.
Even though Pate has spent most of his time operating Pate Landscape, he never let go of his love for and connection to the farm in Lowndes County. He owned a purebred Charolais herd, but after the death of his father in 2012, he also took over the family cattle operation, Pate Charolais Ranch.
In 1996, he joined Lowndesboro’s Town Council and served as Mayor in 2004. While serving as mayor, a new well and water tank were added, the water system was expanded, and sidewalks were installed through town. He resigned in 2018 after being elected Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries.
Growing up on a farm, running a business and cattle operation, and serving as the mayor of a small rural town has given Pate a unique prospective to bring to the office of Ag Commissioner. He has a genuine concern for the future of agriculture and the people of Alabama.
Pate has been a member of the Montgomery Rotary Club since 1987 and served as president in 2011-2012. He also served as President of the Alabama Associated General Contractors (AGC) in 2015 and was appointed “Life Governor” of AGC of America. In 2022, Commissioner Pate was inducted in the Alabama Construction Hall of Fame and in 2023 into the Alabama Livestock Hall of Fame. He served as president of the Montgomery Auburn Alumni Club and is a lifetime member of the Auburn Alumni Association. He endowed a scholarship at Auburn University for Lowndes County Residents who attend the college.
Pate has been married to the former Julie Dismukes since 1989, and they have two grown sons, Richard and James.
During Commissioner Pate’s term as Agriculture Commissioner, he has brought Alabama numerous programs and funding, such as the Cares Act Money, Local Food Purchasing Agreement, A Healthy You Healthy Farm, Sweet Grown Alabama, Alabama Farm to School Program and more.