Mitch Irwin, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture, announced his retirement from state government Tuesday.
A news release from the department said Irwin will pursue private sector business ventures. He is expected to leave his state post on or before Aug. 17.
Irwin was named leader of the agriculture department about two years ago. Before that, he was Gov. Jennifer Granholm's director of the Department of Management and Budget.
The 55-year-old also is a former state senator from the eastern Upper Peninsula. He now lives in the Lansing area.
Irwin made his retirement official in a letter to the Michigan Agriculture Commission, which by state law appoints the director.