The Resource Agency history
- Agency history
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- Finally established in 2004, the eventual creation of the Agriculture and Forestry secretariat began with a 2001 gubernatorial campaign promise made by Governor Mark R. Warner to provide cabinet level representation for the agriculture and forestry industry. Further support for the creation of the secretariat came from the Governor's Agriculture Net Receipts Work Group, a task force created in 2003 by Governor Warner through the Secretary of Commerce and Trade. The goal of the task force was to determine strategies and recommendations for doubling the net profits of Virginia's agricultural sector between 2004 and 2014. Among the task force's recommendations was the creation of the, "Office of Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry to provide focus and emphasis in the development of the agriculture and forest industries."
- In 2004, the General Assembly of Virginia created the cabinet position of Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry with the passing of Senate Bill SB 543 and witnessed its codification through 2.2-203.3 of the Code of Virginia. Speaking at the appointment ceremony of the first Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, Governor Warner reiterated his commitment to, "support and expand our agriculture and forestry industries" and recalled his desire to, "make sure these very important sectors of Virginia's economy received a seat at my cabinet table."
- The Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry is appointed by the Governor, confirmed by the General Assembly, and serves at the Governor's pleasure. It is the secretary's responsibility to oversee several agencies and other entities that formerly reported to the office of the Secretary of Commerce and Trade. Among the agencies reporting to the Agriculture and Forestry secretariat are the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Department of Forestry, the Virginia Agricultural Council, and the Virginia Marine Products Board. The Governor may assign or reassign agencies to and from the Agriculture and Forestry secretariat through the use of executive orders. The secretary's role in leading agencies within the Agriculture and Forestry secretariat is to provide guidance and direction, "in the conservation, protection, and development of Virginia's agricultural and forest resources and in protecting the Virginia Consumer."
- In December of 2004, Governor Warner appointed former Delegate Robert S. Bloxom (R-Accomack) to serve as the first Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry. Prior to his appointment, Bloxom served in the General Assembly from 1978 until his 2003 retirement and sat on the Agriculture, Labor and Commerce, and Chesapeake and its Tributaries committees. William P. Dickinson Jr., Assistant Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, was appointed to serve under Bloxom in the role of Deputy Secretary. On 29 December 2005, Governor-elect Timothy Kaine reappointed Bloxom as Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry.
- Cataloging source
- Citation source
- Salmon, John S., comp. A GUIDE TO STATE RECORDS IN THE ARCHIVES BRANCH OF THE VIRGINIA BRANCH OF THE VIRGINIA STATE LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES. Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1985
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