Difference between revisions of "West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture"

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
m (Text replace - "This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search" to "This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search")
m (Text replace - "," retrieved April" to "," accessed April")
Line 280: Line 280:
In 2010, the West Virginia Agriculture Commissioner was paid an estimated $95,000 according to the [[Council of State Governments]].<ref>[http://knowledgecenter.csg.org/drupal/system/files/Table_4.11.pdf ''The Council of State Governments'',"The Book of States 2010 Table 4.11," retrieved April 23, 2011]</ref>
In 2010, the West Virginia Agriculture Commissioner was paid an estimated $95,000 according to the [[Council of State Governments]].<ref>[http://knowledgecenter.csg.org/drupal/system/files/Table_4.11.pdf ''The Council of State Governments'',"The Book of States 2010 Table 4.11," accessed April 23, 2011]</ref>
==Historical officeholders==
==Historical officeholders==

Revision as of 08:01, 16 April 2014

West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2013 FY Budget:  $12,218,989
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  West Virginia Constitution, Article VII, Section 1
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Helmick walt.jpg
Name:  Walt Helmick
Officeholder Party:  Democratic
Assumed office:  January 2013
Compensation:  $95,000
Next election:  November 8, 2016
Last election:  November 6, 2012
Other West Virginia Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerSecretary of CommerceCommissioner of LaborPublic Service Commission
The West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture is one of six elected state executive positions in the West Virginia state government. The commissioner works to improve the state's agricultural industry and ensure the safety of all agricultural products sold within the state. Commissioners are elected to four-year terms, and are not restricted by term limits.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Walt Helmick (D). He was elected in the general election on November 6, 2012.

Previous officeholder Gus Douglass (D) announced during his 11th term in office that he would not seek re-election in 2012.[1]


The Agriculture Commissioner's powers, term of office, qualifications, and installation are established by Article VII of the West Virginia Constitution.

Article VII, Section 1:

The executive department shall consist of a governor, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, commissioner of agriculture and attorney general...


Article IV, Section 4 of the West Virginia Constitution establishes the qualifications of office as such:

No person, except citizens entitled to vote, shall be elected or appointed to any state, county or municipal office; but the governor and judges must have attained the age of thirty, and the attorney general and senators the age of twenty-five years, at the beginning of their respective terms of service; and must have been citizens of the state for five years next preceding their election or appointment, or be citizens at the time this constitution goes into operation.

  • a citizen entitled to vote
  • a resident of West Virginia for at least the preceding 5 years

Chapter 19, Article 1 of West Virginia Code further details the qualifications of the commissioner of agriculture:[2]

The commissioner shall be a practical farmer, learned in the science of agriculture, and shall have made agriculture his chief business for a period of ten years immediately preceding his election.

  • a practical farmer
  • learned in the science of agriculture
  • has made agriculture his chief business for at least the 10 years preceding his election


West Virginia state government organizational chart

West Virginia elects agriculture commissioners in Presidential election years. For West Virginia, 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020 are all agriculture commissioner election years.

According to state law, the inauguration always takes place on the first Monday after the second Wednesday of January following their election.

Full History

Term limits

West Virginia does not have term limits for the office of agriculture commissioner.


Details of vacancy appointments are addressed under Article VII, Section 17 of the state constitution.

If the office of Agriculture Commissioner becomes vacant, it is the duty of the governor to fill the position by appointment. The appointee serves until a new commissioner is elected.


The commissioner of agriculture is responsible for protecting the health of West Virginia's citizens, plants, and animals. The office oversees a number of scientific, regulatory, and consumer protection programs, with the aim of improving the state's agriculture industry and ensuring the safety of agricultural products sold in the state. The primary duties of the office include:[3]

  • prevent, control, and eradicate animal and poultry diseases
  • inspect commercial slaughterhouses
  • regulate pesticides
  • detect and control plant diseases
  • distribute agricultural information
  • enforce laws to protect the public food supply
  • support rural development initiatives.

More detailed duties are specifically outlined in Chapter 19, Article 1, Section 4 of the West Virginia Code.[4]


The Department of Agriculture is made up of seven divisions.

Administrative Services Division

The Administrative Services Division is "responsible for all day-to-day accounting functions including payroll and benefits processing, travel reimbursement, receivables, procurement, vendor payments and preparation and maintenance of the annual operating budget. Administration and financial management of federal and state grants is also handled by this unit."[5]

Animal Health Division

The mission of the Animal Health Division is "to prevent, suppress, control, and eradicate any communicable diseases of animals or poultry."[5]

Communications Division

The Communications Division "coordinates the distribution of agriculturally related information to the general public and provides printing and informational support to all other WVDA divisions and the State Conservation Agency, Forestry Division and West Virginia Agricultural Statistics Service."[5]

Marketing and Development Division

The Marketing and Development Division "is a multi-disciplinary division within the West Virginia Department of Agriculture which is responsible for the promotion of West Virginia agricultural products and commodities, economic development and the operation of state-owned farms and farmers' markets."[5]

Meat and Poultry Inspection Division

The Meat and Poultry Inspection Division is responsible for "daily inspection of all commercial slaughterhouses and processing establishments to guarantee that only fully inspected, wholesome and truthfully labeled meat and poultry products are offered for sale."[5]

Plant Industries Division

The Plant Industries Division "protects the State’s agricultural interests and forest lands from destructive insects, plant diseases, noxious weeds, and other pest organisms through pest detection, survey, identification, and control efforts and by enforcing regulations that have been promulgated to protect our crops and forests (both urban and rural)."[5]

Regulatory and Environmental Affairs Division Division

The Regulatory and Environmental Affairs Division "acts as a consumer protection / consumer service organization, enforcing laws, rules and regulations to protect the public food supply."[5]

State budget

The budget for the Department of Agriculture in Fiscal Year 2013 was $12,218,989.[6]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

Article 7, Section 19 of the state constitution defines the method by which the commissioner of agriculture's compensation is set:

The officers named in this article shall receive for their services a salary to be established by law, which shall not be increased or diminished during their official terms, and they shall not, after they shall not, after the expirations of the terms of those in office at the adoption of this amendment, receive to their own use any fees, costs, perquisites of office or other compensation, and all fees that may hereafter be payable by law, for any service performed by any officer provided for in this article of the Constitution, shall be paid in advance into the state treasury.

Chapter 6, Article 7-2 of the West Virginia Code lays out the exact compensation for certain state officers. According to this section of the state code, the salary of the commissioner of agriculture, beginning in 2009 and for each calendar year thereafter, shall be $95,000.[7]


In 2013, the commissioner's salary remained at $95,000.[8]


In 2012, the agriculture commissioner was paid an estimated $95,000. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.


In 2010, the West Virginia Agriculture Commissioner was paid an estimated $95,000 according to the Council of State Governments.[9]

Historical officeholders

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

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term West Virginia + Agriculture + Commissioner

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

West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture News Feed

  • Loading...

Contact information

1900 Kanawha Blvd., E.
Charleston, WV 25305
Email: douglass@ag.state.wv.us
Phone: (304) 558-3200
Fax: (304) 558-2203

See also

External links

Suggest a link