Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Texas are holding elections today. Find out what's on your ballot!

Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture
General information
Office Type:  Nonpartisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012-2013 FY Budget:  $129,535,000
Term limits:  None
Authority:  Pennsylvania Constitution, Article IV, Section 1
Selection Method:  Appointed by Governor
Current Officeholder

Russell Redding.jpg
Name:  Russell Redding
Assumed office:  January 20, 2015
Compensation:  $135,228
Other Pennsylvania Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture is a state executive position in the Pennsylvania state government. The secretary is the head of the Department of Agriculture, and oversees the commonwealth's agriculture industry.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Russell Redding. He was appointed by Governor Tom Wolf on January 20, 2015, and is awaiting confirmation by the Pennsylvania State Senate.


Though the state constitution does not specifically create the office of secretary of agriculture, it does allow for the addition of public officers in Article IV, Section 1:

All officers, whose selection is not provided for in this Constitution, shall be elected or appointed as may be directed by law.


There are no specific qualifications for the Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture.


Pennsylvania state government organizational chart

The Secretary of Agriculture is not elected in Pennsylvania. The Governor nominates a candidate to the state senate, and the senate confirms the nominee by a two-thirds majority before the candidate takes the oath of office.


Article IV, Section 8 of the Pennsylvania Constitution grants the governor the power to appoint officers to fill vacancies. In the event of a vacancy in the office of agriculture secretary, the governor nominates a successor. This nomination must be made to the commonwealth senate within 90 days of the vacancy. The senate must then take action (confirming or not confirming the nomination) within 25 legislative days.[1]


The primary mission of the Department of Agriculture is to encourage, protect, and promote "agriculture and related industries" throughout Pennsylvania. The department has regulatory oversight over many facets of the agriculture industry, including food processing, marketing, and transportation of food products. The staff also conducts health and safety inspections to ensure consumer protection.[2]


The Department of Agriculture contains ten bureaus and six commissions or councils.


  • The Bureau of Animal Health & Diagnostic Services works to control and eliminate diseases in the commonwealth's livestock and poultry by regulating programs for animal health certification, containment of diseased animals, and elimination of disease agents. Staff medical officers and health inspectors work throughout the state with veterinarians, farmers, and the general public to address specific needs.[3]
  • The Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement is responsible for the well being of commercially-bred and kenneled dogs.
  • The Bureau of Farmland Preservation administers Pennsylvania's agricultural easement programs to protect farmland in perpetuity and manages state funding for farmland preservation.[4]
  • The Bureau of Farm Show oversees the Pennsylvania Farm Show (the largest indoor agricultural event in America) and operates and maintains the 24-acre farm show complex and exposition center.[5]
  • The Bureau of Food Distribution administers Pennsylvania's State Food Purchase Program, providing funding to 1,800 local food banks and pantries. The bureau also collaborates with the USDA and local partners to manages various nutrition and food provision programs across the commonwealth.[6]
  • The Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services regulates restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, and food manufacturers within the commonwealth.
  • The Bureau of Market Development promotes and markets Pennsylvania's agribusiness products and services.
  • The Bureau of Plant Industry is composed of three divisions: plant protection, agronomic and regional services, and health and safety. The bureau works to protect maintain and protect the state's agriculture through product regulation.
  • The Bureau of Ride and Measurement Standards has two divisions: ride safety and weights/measures. The ride safety division bureau enforces safety codes for amusement rides and attractions. The weights and measures division regulates motor fuel dispensers, coal, firewood, oil, gas, and many types of scales.
  • The Pennsylvania Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service is a joint office of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, and provides relevant statistics to the commonwealth.

Commissions & Councils

  • The Animal Health & Diagnostic Commission is composed of three accredited veterinarians and six active farmers, all appointed by the Governor. The commission monitors diseases and implements outbreak management plans.
  • The Hardwoods Development Council is a 25-person commission charged with the management and promotion of Pennsylvania's hardwoods industry.
  • The Governor's Invasive Species Council is chaired by the Secretary of Agriculture, and is responsible for mitigating the risks posed to the commonwealth's ecological, economic, and human health by invasive species.
  • The Pennsylvania Racing Commission manages all facets of horse and harness racing in Pennsylvania.
  • The Seasonal Farm Labor Committee is a 6 member commission, chaired by the Secretary of Agriculture and recommends changes to legislation related to seasonal farm workers.
  • The State Conservation Commission is a 14 member commission that oversees management of the commonwealth's natural resources through 66 county conservation districts.

State budget

See also: Pennsylvania state budget and finances

The budget for the Department of Agriculture in Fiscal Year 2012-2013 was $129,535,000.[7]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

The secretary's salary is set by statute and subject to cost-of-living adjustments, also known as COLAs, pursuant to Section 3(e) of the Public Official Compensation Law (amended in 1995). This law mandates that Pennsylvania executives' salaries "shall be increased by applying the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland area for the most recent 12-month period for which figures have been officially reported by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) immediately prior to the date adjustment is due to take effect."[8]

Under this law, the appropriate salaries were last increased by 1.6 percent, effective January 1, 2015.[9]


In 2014, the secretary was paid an estimated $135,228, according to the Council of State Governments.[10]


In 2013, the secretary was paid an estimated $134,824, according to the Council of State Governments.[11]


In 2012, the secretary was paid an estimated $131,992, according to the Council of State Governments.


In 2010, the secretary was paid an estimated $125,939, according to the Council of State Governments.[12]

Historical officeholders

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

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms "Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture ."

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

Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Google News Feed

  • Loading...

Contact information

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
2301 North Cameron Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717-787-4737
Bureau, Commission & Council Telephone Numbers

See also

External links

Suggest a link