The state's two top ambassadors for Illinois agriculture resigned Thursday.
Phil Nelson, a LaSalle County farmer who had served as Gov. Bruce Rauner's agriculture director for just nine months, and Patrick Buchen, who served a short stint as manager of the two state fairs, left their posts. The governor's office made the announcement.
Rauner's office offered no explanation for their departure but said Nelson will remain on the payroll for the next month to help with the transition.
"I appreciate Director Nelson's commitment to agriculture and his service to the people of Illinois," Rauner said in a prepared statement. "I wish him all the best."
Rauner named current Department of Agriculture Chief of Staff Warren Goetsch as acting director. A search for a permanent replacement is underway.
Nelson served as president of the Illinois Farm Bureau before joining the Rauner administration in January.