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Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce

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Mississippi

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The Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce is an elected state executive position in the Mississippi state government. The Commissioner is elected to a four-year term.

The Department of Agriculture and Commerce regulates and promotes state agri-business and its products.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Lester Spell (R). He was first elected in 1995 and is serving in his fourth consecutive term. Spell is retiring and not running for re-election in 2011.

Authority

The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce was created by an Act of the Mississippi legislature in 1906, which also provided for the election of the first Agricultural and Commerce Commissioner.

Qualifications

To qualify to run for Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner, candidates must be:[1]

  • at least 25 years of age
  • a qualified elector
  • citizen of Mississippi for 5 years

Elections

Mississippi elects agricultural commissioners to four-year terms during gubernatorial election years. For Mississippi, 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2015 are all agricultural commissioner election years.

Duties

The Department of Agriculture and Commerce states that its mission is "to regulate and promote agricultural-related businesses within the state and to promote Mississippi's products throughout both the state and the rest of the world for the benefit of all Mississippi citizens."[2]

Divisions of the Office

The Department of Agriculture and Commerce is under control of the Commissioner. It has 7 bureaus and departments.

Agricultural Theft Bureau

The Agricultural Theft Bureau works "enforce all the laws of the State enacted for the purpose of preventing the theft of livestock, agricultural and aquacultural products and implements; to make investigations of violations thereof and to arrest persons violating same."




Board of Animal Health

The Board of Animal Health was created by the Mississippi Legislature to "deal with all contagious and infectious diseases of animals as in the opinion of the board may be prevented, controlled, or eradicated, and with full power to make, promulgate, and enforce such rules and regulations as may be necessary to control, eradicate and prevent those diseases."




Mississippi State Fair Commission

The Mississippi State Fair Commission hosts over 700 events a year on the 100+ acre Fairgrounds Complex.




Mississippi Farmers Market

The Mississippi Farmers Market "was created to provide facilities for the efficient handling of farm products in the interest of the farmer, consumer, general public and the State of Mississippi."




Market Development

The Market Development Division is charged with "promoting and heightening the public's awareness of Mississippi 's agriculture commodities and the farmers and ranchers who produce them."




Bureau of Plant Industry

The Bureau of Plant Industry was established "to protect the agricultural and horticultural interests of the state from harmful insects, diseases, and weeds." It is a regulatory and service division of the Department of Agriculture and Commerce.




Bureau of Regulatory Services

The Bureau of Regulatory Services was designed "to protect the health and economic welfare of all citizens, to afford a measure of economic protection which citizens cannot provide for themselves, and to strive for equity in the market place which, when realized, works to the good of all citizens of this state."




Compensation

In 2010, the Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner was paid an estimated $90,000 according to the Council of State Governments.[3]

Former officeholders

Since 1906, Mississippi has had 6 officeholders.

Click "show" for former officeholders.

Contact information

Mississippi Department of Agriculture & Commerce
121 North Jefferson Street
Jackson, MS 39201
Phone: 601-359-1100
Fax: 601-354-6290

See also

External links

References