Difference between revisions of "West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture"

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If the office of Agricultural 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.
If the office of Agricultural 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.
==Divisions of the Office==
==Divisions of the Office==

Revision as of 10:35, 25 May 2011

State executive officials
State legislatures
The West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture is an elected state executive position in the West Virginia state government. Commissioners are elected to four-year terms.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Gus Douglass (D). He first served from 1964-1988, and has currently served since 1992. Nearing the end of his 11th term in office, Douglass announced he will not seek re-election in 2012.[1]


The Agricultural 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


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

Term limits

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


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

If the office of Agricultural 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.


Divisions of the Office

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."[2]

Animal Health Division

The mission of the Animal Health Division is "to prevent, suppress, control, and eradicate any communicable diseases of animals or poultry."[2]

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."[2]

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."[2]

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."[2]

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)."[2]

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."[2]


In 2010, the West Virginia Agricultural Commissioner was paid an estimated $95,000 according to the Council of State Governments.[3]

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