The Resource Agency history of the Virginia Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services
- Agency history of the Virginia Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services
- Agriculture and state -- Virginia
- Weights and measures. -- Virginia
- Emigration and immigration -- Virginia
- Farm produce -- Virginia -- Marketing
- Consumer protection. -- Virginia
- Food adulteration and inspection. -- Virginia
- Dairy laws -- Virginia
- Animal industry -- Marketing -- Virginia
- Livestock. -- Virginia -- Marketing
- Agricultural industries -- Virginia
- Biographical or historical data
- On March 29, 1877, the General Assembly passed an act creating the Department of Agriculture, Mining, and Manufacturing to compile a geological handbook, analyze soils and fertilizers, dispense information to agriculturists in the state, and distribute seeds provided by the federal government. The Board of Agriculture was established by the General Assembly on March 5, 1888, to manage the department. The name of the department was changed to the Department of Agriculture and Immigration by an act passed on February 25, 1908, and the agency was given the additional mission of promoting the immigration of farmers into the state. On March 27, 1914, the General Assembly made the commissioner of the department a member of the Convict Lime Grinding Board. This board, which supervised the employment of state penitentiary convicts at state lime grinding plants, was abolished by the state government reorganization act passed by the General Assembly on April 18, 1927, and its duties were transferred to the Board of Agriculture and Immigration.
- A major shift in focus occurred when, in a statewide referendum held on November 1, 1966, the voters approved a proposed constitutional amendment passed by the General Assembly on March 11 that changed the name of the department to the Department of Agriculture and Commerce. The governor issued a proclamation of the name change on November 30, 1966, and on March 4, 1971, the General Assembly passed an act codifying the change. The name of the department was changed to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services by an act passed by the General Assembly on March 24, 1978.
- The Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which oversees the department, consists of eleven members, one from each congressional district. Seven of the members must be farmers. The members are appointed by the governor for four-year terms and confirmed by the Senate. The presidents of Virginia State University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University are ex-officio members of the board. The board is responsible for policy formulation on matters of agricultural and consumer concern.
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