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Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture

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Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2013 FY Budget:  $51,352,061
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Georgia Code, 33-2-1
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Gary Black.jpg
Name:  Gary Black
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 10, 2011
Compensation:  $121,557
Next election:  November 6, 2018
Last election:  November 4, 2014
Other Georgia Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of SchoolsAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture is a state executive position in the Georgia state government. The commissioner heads the Georgia Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for regulating and promoting Georgia's agriculture industry. Like many Georgia state executive officers, the commissioner is elected to four year-terms during federal midterm election years.[1]

Current officeholder

The current commissioner is Gary Black, a Republican, who was first elected on November 2, 2010 and took office on January 10, 2011. Black won re-election in 2014.

Before becoming commissioner, Black co-managed the Georgia Food Industry Partneship for 13 years. He has also served as president of the Georgia Agribusiness Council and as a field representative in the Georgia Farm Bureau. Black holds a bachelor's degree in agricultural education from the University of Georgia.[2]


The office of agriculture commissioner, though mentioned in the Georgia Constitution, is formally established in state law.[3]

Georgia Code, 33-2-1

The department shall be under the control and management of the Commissioner of Agriculture...


Per Article V, Section 3, Paragraph II of the Georgia Constitution, the commissioner of agriculture must, at the time of his election:

  • Have been a citizen of the U.S. for 10 years
  • A legal resident of Georgia for four years
  • 25 years old

Georgia Constitution, Article V, Section 3, Paragraph II

(a) No person shall be eligible to the office of the Secretary of State, Attorney General, State School Superintendent, Commissioner of Insurance, Commissioner of Agriculture, or Commissioner of Labor unless such person shall have been a citizen of the United States for ten years and a legal resident of the state for four years immediately preceding election or appointment and shall have attained the age of 25 years by the date of assuming office. All of said officers shall take such oath and give bond and security, as prescribed by law, for the faithful discharge of their duties.


Georgia state government organizational chart

The commissioner is elected "at the same time and hold[s] [his] office for the same term as the Governor."

Georgia Constitution, Article V, Section 3, Paragraph I

The Secretary of State, Attorney General, State School Superintendent, Commissioner of Insurance, Commissioner of Agriculture, and Commissioner of Labor shall be elected in the manner prescribed for the election of members of the General Assembly and the electors shall be the same. Such executive officers shall be elected at the same time and hold their offices for the same term as the Governor.


See also: Georgia down ballot state executive elections, 2014
Agriculture Commissioner of Georgia, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngGary Black Incumbent 58.3% 1,462,039
     Democrat Christopher Irvin 41.7% 1,047,339
Total Votes 2,509,378
Election Results via Georgia Secretary of State.

Term limits

There are no term limits for the office of agriculture commissioner.


If a vacancy occurs, the governor fills it, subject to confirmation by a majority vote of the Georgia Senate. Vacancy procedures are laid out in Article V, Section 2, Paragraph VIII of the Georgia Constitution.


The commissioner manages the Georgia Department of Agriculture, which regulates and promotes the produce of Georgia's agricultural industry.

According to the department's website, "the Georgia Department of Agriculture regulates, monitors, or assists with the following areas: grocery stores, convenience stores, food warehouses, bottling plants, food processing plants, pet dealers and breeders, animal health, gasoline quality and pump calibration, antifreeze, weights and measures, marketing of Georgia agricultural products domestically and internationally, pesticides, structural pest control, meat processing plants, seed quality, Vidalia onions, state farmers markets, plant diseases, nurseries and garden centers, fertilizer and lime, potting soil; feed, boll weevil eradication, apiaries, Humane Care for Equines Act, bottled water, and other responsibilities."[1]


  • Administration
  • Animal Industry
  • Consumer Protection
  • Fuel & Measures
  • Plant Industry
  • Marketing

State budget

See also: Georgia state budget and finances

The budget for the Department of Agriculture in Fiscal Year 2013 was $51,352,061.[4]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

The salaries of elected executive officials in Georgia are determined by state law as mandated in the Georgia Constitution. Article V of the state constitution indicates that the Georgia State Legislature determines salaries for governor, lieutenant governor and "other elected executives."[5]

Article V, Section 3, Paragraph III

Text of Paragraph III:

Powers, Duties, Compensation, and Allowances of Other Executive Officers

Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, the General Assembly shall prescribe the powers, duties, compensation, and allowances of the above executive officers and provide assistance and expenses necessary for the operation of the department of each.[6]


In 2014, the commissioner received a salary of $121,557, according to the Council of State Governments.[7]


In 2013, the commissioner received a salary of $121,557. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.[8]


In 2010, the commissioner received a salary of $121,556.

Historical officeholders

Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the Georgia Commissioner 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.

Recent news

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All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture News Feed

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Contact info

19 Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr., S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30334
Phone: (404) 656-3645

See also

External links