Jonathan Shell

Jonathan Shell

Jonathan Shell, a Republican politician and former state representative, is currently campaigning to become Kentucky’s next Commissioner of Agriculture in the November 2023 election. Shell brings both political and agricultural experience to the table as he seeks this important statewide office.

Background and Early Life

Jonathan Shell was born and raised in Lancaster, Kentucky, where he grew up helping on his family’s farm. This early exposure to agriculture shaped Shell’s future career interests and passions. After graduating from Garrard County High School in 2006, Shell went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in agriculture business from Eastern Kentucky University in 2010.


In addition to his agriculture degree from Eastern Kentucky University, Shell’s education helped prepare him for a career at the intersection of farming and public policy. His hands-on experience working on his family’s farm provided equally important knowledge about the day-to-day realities of agriculture.

Early Career

Prior to running for public office, Shell gained professional experience in the private sector. He owned and operated State Solutions LLC, a firm focused on government relations and lobbying. Shell also continued to be involved in his family’s farm operation, Shell Farms, throughout his early career. These business experiences allowed him to understand agriculture from both a policy and practical perspective.

Political Career

Shell first ran for elected office in 2012, when he was elected to represent Kentucky’s 71st House District. As a state representative, Shell served four terms from 2013 to 2018.

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Kentucky House of Representatives

As a member of the Kentucky House, Shell advocated for agriculture, small business, and other local issues. He served on several committees and sponsored legislation during his time as a representative.

Committee Assignments

Shell held leadership positions on several House committees, including vice chair roles on the Committees on Committees, Rules, and Local Government. His committee experience allowed Shell to gain expertise in regulatory and legislative processes.

Sponsored Legislation

Shell sponsored over 30 bills during his time in the Kentucky legislature. His sponsored legislation covered issues like industrial hemp production, liquor licensing, election administration, education, and other topics relevant to his district and the state.

Campaign for Agriculture Commissioner

Now, Shell is seeking the statewide office of Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture in the upcoming November 2023 election.

Platform and Priorities

Shell’s platform as a candidate has focused on improving support for Kentucky farmers, protecting natural resources, increasing transparency, and streamlining regulations. His background gives him firsthand insight into the policy issues facing Kentucky’s agricultural community.

Election Outlook

The race for Commissioner of Agriculture is nonpartisan, but Shell faces Democrat Robert Conway in his campaign for the position. Recent polls have shown the race to be close, with a sizeable number of undecided voters still remaining. Shell’s experience and agricultural policy knowledge could give him an edge as the election nears.

Personal Life

Outside of politics and agriculture, Shell has a few personal passions and interests.

Family and Interests

Shell and his wife Rachel have two young children together. When he isn’t working on the farm or campaigning, Shell enjoys hunting, fishing, attending church, and spending time with his family. He remains actively involved in organizations like 4-H and FFA that supported his early interests in agriculture.

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Key Takeaways

In summary, Jonathan Shell is a Republican aiming to transition from the state legislature to a statewide elected office in Kentucky. Key takeaways about Shell include:

  • Grew up working on his family’s farm and studying agriculture
  • Served four terms as a state representative from 2013 to 2018
  • Sponsored legislation on hemp, liquor licensing, elections, and other issues
  • Running for Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture in November 2023
  • Campaigning on a platform supporting farmers, conservation, and reducing regulations
  • Race expected to be close as Shell faces Democratic opponent

Shell’s background in farming and agriculture policy makes him a competitive candidate for Commissioner of Agriculture. The upcoming election will determine whether his mix of private and public experience is appealing to Kentucky’s statewide voters.


What is Jonathan Shell’s professional background?

Shell has experience in both agriculture and politics. He owned Shell Farms and a government relations firm prior to serving four terms as a state representative from 2013-2018.

What position is Shell running for in 2023?

Shell is running as a Republican candidate for Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture in the November 2023 election.

What are some of Shell’s policy priorities?

Shell is campaigning on issues like supporting Kentucky farmers, protecting natural resources, increasing government transparency, and reducing unnecessary regulations.

Who is Shell running against?

Shell’s opponent for Agriculture Commissioner is Democrat Robert Conway. Recent polls show the race is expected to be close.

What qualifications does Shell have for Agriculture Commissioner?

Shell has firsthand farm experience and agricultural education. His time as a state legislator also gave him policy experience relevant to the office.

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