Ducks Unlimited CEO Adam Putnam is a hunter, angler, and lifelong advocate for conservation and agriculture. Ducks Unlimited conserves, restores, and manages wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl. Since 1937, DU has conserved hundreds of millions of acres across the US, Canada and Mexico, thanks to more than 1 million members, volunteers and supporters.
Prior to his role as CEO, Adam was the Commissioner of Agriculture for the state of Florida where he led the nation’s largest state agriculture department and was responsible for the management of 1.3 million acres of state forests, running the state Energy Office, and promoting the state’s $9 billion agriculture industry. As Commissioner, Putnam was a strong advocate for Florida’s water resources. During his tenure he expanded Florida’s Best Management Practices Program for water to more than 7 million acres, saving an average of 19 million gallons of water daily. As a result of his leadership in water policies, in 2017 Adam was the first elected official awarded the U.S. Water Prize from the U.S. Water Alliance.
Prior to serving as Commissioner, Adam served five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. Elected in 2000, Putnam was the youngest member of Congress at the time and the youngest ever from Florida. He distinguished himself as the leading voice for specialty crop agriculture in the nation’s Farm Bill, international trade and food safety. Adam served as co-chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus; as a member on the Agriculture, Financial Services, Resources and Rules Committees; and chaired a subcommittee on the Government Reform and Oversight Committee. After just two terms, he was elected by his peers to be Republican Policy Chairman, and as the Republican Conference Chairman in 2006.
Adam is a fifth-generation Floridian and a graduate of the University of Florida where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Food and Resource Economics. He has also been awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree and served as a Rodel Fellow at the Aspen Institute. In 2010, he was the E.T. York Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Florida. Adam and his wife, Melissa, reside in Memphis and have four children.