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Updated: August 22, 2022 / 40 Under Forty, Class of 2022

40 Under Forty 2022: Ashley Sears Randle

Photo | Erika Sidor Ashley Sears Randle
Photo | Erika Sidor 40 Under Forty 2022 winners, from left, Ashley Sears Randle, Marissa Gallant, David Oliva, and Timothy Johnson pose at New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill (special thanks to Liz Nye and Grace Elton).
Ashley Sears Randle, 33
  • Title Deputy commissioner/legislative & policy director
  • Company Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, in Southborough
  • Residence Sterling
  • Birthplace South Deerfield
  • Colleges Cornell University, Western New England University School of Law
Click here to read about the other 40 Under Forty, Class of 2022
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Sears Randle’s passion for agriculture started early. She grew up on a dairy farm in Western Mass., making her a fourth-generation working farmer.

She graduated from Cornell University, where she studied agribusiness, received her law degree from the Western New England University School of Law, and interned at American Farm Bureau in Washington, D.C., the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, and the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office before formally entering the agricultural policy field through the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

Today, Sears Randle is the first female to ever receive an appointment as deputy commissioner at MDAR. She was instrumental in leading the commonwealth’s food system through the pandemic, notably by developing and publishing more than 20 guidance documents to ensure farms, farmers markets, and food system businesses could continue to operate, including the deployment of $36 million through the Food Security Infrastructure Grant program. She’s secured U.S. Department of Agriculture grant funding for the commonwealth, including $7.5 million to purchase and distribute food from socially disadvantaged farmers and producers to underserved communities, and securing $500,000 for developing a mental health program for the agricultural community at MDAR.

Would you rather live on the equator or in Antarctica? Equator. While nowhere compares to the changing of the seasons in New England, I prefer to enjoy an iced coffee in the sunshine than the cold.

What will Central Mass. be like in 10 years? A diverse, vibrant community where rural and urban businesses are thriving, locally produced and fresh food is abundant, WooSox games are religion, and the next generation of leaders is emerging.

What key to business success do most people not know about? Leadership of a business or organization is a privilege. You have the opportunity to impact colleagues’ and customers’ lives on a daily basis. Make sure it’s in a positive and meaningful way.

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