Joel Ferry was appointed DNR executive director in June 2022 by Gov. Spencer J. Cox. (His appointment is subject to approval by the Utah Senate, which will likely take place in September.) He leads an agency of about 1,400 employees from eight divisions and two offices, including Forestry, Fire and State Lands; Oil, Gas and Mining; State Parks; Outdoor Recreation; Utah Geological Survey; Water Resources; Water Rights; Wildlife Resources, the Office of Energy Development and the Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office.
Ferry’s passion for water policy, land conservation and agriculture will serve him well as he works to manage and protect Utah’s natural resources. He is a 5th generation farmer who operates a ranch, farm, feedlot, and hunting properties in Corinne. Ferry formerly worked for Zion’s Bank. He has a track record of public service, including serving as a legislator, chairman of the Box Elder County Republican Party, Box Elder Farm Bureau Board member, chairman of the Willard Peak Chapter of Delta Waterfowl, board member of the Friends of the Bear River Bird Refuge, and member of the Northern Regional Advisory Council for the Division of Wildlife Resources.
Ferry holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance from Utah State University. He and his wife Becca are raising their five children on their farm. They enjoy hunting, camping, and traveling together.