Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture
|Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2012-2013 FY Budget:||$129,535,000|
|Authority:||Pennsylvania Constitution, Article IV, Section 1|
|Selection Method:||Appointed by Governor|
|Assumed office:||May 18, 2011|
|Other Pennsylvania Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Auditor • Superintendent of Education • Agriculture Commissioner • Insurance Commissioner • Natural Resources Commissioner • Labor Commissioner • Public Service Commission|
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 comprised 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 comprised 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.
The budget for the Department of Agriculture in Fiscal Year 2012-2013 was $129,535,000.
- See also: Compensation of state executive officers
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
2301 North Cameron Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Bureau, Commission & Council Telephone Numbers
- ↑ Pennsylvania State Legislature, "Executive branch," June 1, 2011
- ↑ Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, "About PDA," June 6, 2011
- ↑ Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, "Bureau of animal health & diagnostic services," June 6, 2011
- ↑ Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, "Bureau of farmland preservation," June 6, 2011
- ↑ Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, "Bureau of farm show," June 6, 2011
- ↑ Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture "Bureau of food distribution," Retrieved June 15, 2011
- ↑ Pennsylvania Budget Office, "2012-13 Enacted Budget - Act 9A," accessed April 10, 2013
- ↑ The Council of State Governments Book of the States, Chapter 4, Table 4.11, Retrieved June 14, 2011