James J. Zehringer was appointed the director of the Ohio Department Natural Resources (ODNR) on Nov. 15, 2011. He is the former owner of Meiring Poultry and Fish Farm in Fort Recovery, Ohio, and he previously served as the director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA).
As a state agency, ODNR focuses on regulation and recreation. ODNR regulates the shale development industry and oversees recreational activities such as hunting, fishing and boating. Key priorities for Director Zehringer include regulating shale development responsibly, addressing water quality issues statewide and promoting, updating and preserving Ohio State Parks.
Prior to becoming director of ODA, Zehringer served rural western Ohio (specifically Mercer and Preble counties as well as portions of Darke County) as a state representative for the 77th House District from 2007-2011. He worked as a Mercer County commissioner from 2002-2007.