Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture

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Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture
General information
Office Type:  Nonpartisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012 FY Budget:  $70,014,113
Term limits:  None
Structure
Length of term:   Serves at the pleasure of the governor
Authority:  Arkansas Code, Title 25, Chapter 38, Section 202
Selection Method:  Appointed by Arkansas Agriculture Board
Current Officeholder
Name:  Butch Calhoun
Assumed office:  June 30, 2012
Compensation:  $98,000
Other Arkansas Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorCommissioner of EducationAgriculture SecretaryInsurance CommissionerCommissioner of State LandsNatural Resources Exec. DirectorLabor DirectorPublic Service Commission
The Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture is a state executive position in the Arkansas state government. The secretary is head of the Arkansas Agriculture Department which implements policies "to keep [Arkansas] Farmers and Ranchers competitive ... while ensur[ing] safe food, fiber, and forest products."[1] Besides marketing the state's agricultural products, the Department regulates various agricultural products, including pesticides, seeds, livestock and poultry, and others.

Current officeholder

The current secretary is Butch Calhoun, appointed in 2012.[2] Calhoun serves at the pleasure of the governor and is not subject to periodic reappointment.[2]

Authority

The office of secretary is authorized by Arkansas statute.[3]

Arkansas Code, Title 25, Chapter 38, Section 202

(a) There is created the Arkansas Agriculture Department.

(b)(1) The executive head of the department shall be the Secretary of the Arkansas Agriculture Department.

Qualifications

The Arkansas Constitution requires all elected or appointed officeholders to be an elector. That is, they must fulfill the state's voter registration requirements -- being a U.S. citizen, a resident of Arkansas, at least 18 years old. Felons and citizens judged to be mentally incompetent by a court are also ineligible to vote and, by extension, to hold office.

Other requirements to complete a voter registration form -- essentially, qualifications to be an elector -- are given by Amendment 59, Section 6 of the constitution.

Incumbents may not hold any other state, federal, or civil office, and may not have ever been convicted of "embezzlement of public money, bribery, forgery, or other infamous crime."

Constitution of Arkansas, Article 19, Section 3

No persons shall be elected to, or appointed to fill a vacancy in, any office who does not possess the qualifications of an elector.

Constitution of Arkansas, Article 5, Section 9

No person hereafter convicted of embezzlement of public money, bribery, forgery or other infamous crime, shall be eligible to the General Assembly or capable of holding any office of trust or profit in this State.

Constitution of Arkansas, Amendment 51, Section 6

(6) The mail voter registration application form shall include the following questions along with boxes for the applicant to check "yes" or "no" in response:
(A) "Are you a citizen of the United States of America and an Arkansas resident?;"
(B) "Will you be eighteen (18) years of age on or before election day?;"
(C) "Are you presently adjudged mentally incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction?;"
(D) "Have you ever pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to, or found guilty of a felony without your sentence having been discharged or pardoned?;" and
(E) "Do you claim the right to vote in another county or state?."
(7) The mail voter registration application form shall include the following statements immediately following the questions asked in subdivision (a)(6) of this section:
(A) "If you checked "No" in response to either questions A or B, do not complete this form.;"
(B) "If you checked "Yes" in response to one or more of questions C, D, or E, do not complete this form.;" and

Appointments

Arkansas state government organizational chart

Secretaries of agriculture are appointed by the Arkansas Agriculture Board, which is composed of gubernatorial appointees, people nominated by agencies within the Agriculture Department, and several ex officio members like the University of Arkansas's Vice President of Agriculture. Appointees to the office of secretary of agriculture require gubernatorial approval and serve at the pleasure of the governor.[3]

Arkansas Code, Title 25, Chapter 38, Section 202

The secretary shall be selected by the Arkansas Agriculture Board, and the name shall be submitted to the Governor for confirmation. The secretary shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

Term limits

There are no term limits associated with the office of secretary of agriculture.

Vacancies

State law does not provide for any particular procedure to deal with vacancies.

Duties

The Arkansas Agriculture Department, under the supervision of the secretary, is directed by law to "coordinate ... programs ... that will enhance the marketing of the state's agricultural products," and "establish a clearinghouse for ... information and data concerning needs of and resources for agriculture, aquaculture, horticulture, forestry, and kindred industries."[4] It is also charged with encouraging agricultural clubs and associations with the state and coordinating with programs run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the departments of other states.

The Agriculture Department also establishes regulations covering a variety of agriculture products and their cultivation. It has the authority to establish "burn bans" in forests at risk of fire, regulates seed dealers in the state, monitors the use of pesticides and licenses a variety of agricultural services providers, among other things. It also develops programs to verify the quality of various agricultural services firms, such as cow/calf producers, and to prevent invasive diseases in the state's plants and animals.

Additionally, the department provides educational resources for citizens, e.g. guides to invasive plant species, timber management, and livestock disease, and runs the state's land surveying program.[5]

Divisions

The department of agriculture includes the following divisions:[6]

  • Arkansas Forestry Commission
  • Arkansas Livestock & Poultry Commission
  • Arkansas State Plant Board
  • Arkansas Aquaculture Division
  • State Land Surveyor

State budget

The budget for the Arkansas Department of Agriculture in Fiscal Year 2012 was $70,014,113.[7]

Compensation

As the secretary is not a part of the state's executive department, his or her salary is determined by the state's Office of Personnel and Management. The OPM has classified the secretary under class code "U072U" for the purposes of determining compensation.

2013

In 2013, the secretary received a salary of $98,000. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.[8]

2010

In 2010, the secretary received compensation in the amount of $102,784.[9]

Historical officeholders

Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture has not yet been added because the information was unavailable on the relevant state official websites, or we are currently in the process of formatting the list for this office. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.

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Contact info

Arkansas

Physical address:
1 Natural Resources Drive
Little Rock, AR 72205
Phone: (501) 683-4851
Fax: (501) 683-4852

See also

External links

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References