McKinney replaces Gina Sheets, who's leaving after a year on the job to do mission work in Liberia.
McKinney grew up on a family farm in Tipton County. After graduating from Purdue University, he began his career with Elanco Products Co., DowElanco and Dow AgroSciences. Most recently he was director of global corporate affairs for Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly and Co.
The Agriculture Department advocates for state agriculture and promotes economic development and agricultural innovation, among other duties.