Butler replaces Shelton Jones, now a lobbyist for the Arizona Agribusiness Council.
He was appointed to his post by Gov. Janet Napolitano after a committee of state agriculturists selected him from a list of candidates.
Since 1992, Butler has been chairman of Agrolink Corp. in Tucson. It is a company formed to promote international agribusiness, provide financial advice and services on transactions between Mexico and the U.S. under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Prior to that he was chairman and president of Shasta Foods in Los Angeles, an international beef production company owned by a Japanese company. Shasta had ownership in a cow-calf operation in Cottonwood, Calif., and Monterey County Cattle Feeders in Gonzales, Calif.
He also served as president of Coronado Cattle Co., a management company for investors in 22 commercial feedyards in nine states.
Butler has a background in banking as well with two Arizona banks and served on the advisory council for small business and agriculture with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
He majored in animal husbandry at UA where he also was student body president.
He assumed his new post July 21.