Governor Doug Burgum appointed Jay Schuler as Director of the North Dakota Department of Commerce in January 2017.
A native of Wahpeton, N.D., and neighboring Breckenridge, Minn., Schuler started his first company in college. He is a founding investor in both GIANT Sunflower Seeds, the largest sunflower confection retailer in the Upper Midwest, and Richland IFC, a dominant supplier of organic blue corn. Schuler also is an original investor in Ag America Network, which is carried by more than 30 radio stations in North Dakota and South Dakota.
Schuler has served on numerous boards; is active in his community’s local angel investment fund; has been a judge for Innovate North Dakota for the past three years; and was recognized by the NDSU Agribusiness Club as the 2003 recipient of the John Lee Coulter Award. This award honors a person who has made outstanding contributions in the agricultural industry. In 2012, Mr. Schuler was named by the University of North Dakota Center for Innovation as its first Holaday Entrepreneur-in-Residence.
Schuler is a 1970 graduate of Breckenridge High School and holds an agricultural economics degree from North Dakota State University, with minors in agronomy and genetics.
Schuler succeeds former Commerce Commissioner Alan Anderson, who retired Dec. 31, 2016.