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.
The commissioner shall organize his department and may employ such assistants, agents, clerks, stenographers, chemists, analysts, botanists, microscopists, institute instructors, pomologists, entomologists, veterinarians and such other employees as may be necessary in the performance of the duties of his office and fix their compensation and may require them to give bond for the faithful performance of their duties.
It shall be the duty of the commissioner to certify to the auditor of this State, from time to time, an itemized account of all expenditures made by him for clerk hire and other purposes, whereupon the auditor shall draw his warrant on the treasurer of the State for the payment thereof out of the funds appropriated by the legislature for that purpose, but in no case to exceed such appropriation.
The commissioner shall, within ten days after the expiration of each month, submit to the auditor and treasurer an itemized statement of all moneys received by him during that month, and at the same time pay such money into the treasury of the State.
The duties of the Marketing and Development Division are to establish marketing, promotional and development programs to advance West Virginia agriculture in the domestic and international markets; to provide grading, inspection and market news services to the various elements of the West Virginia agricultural industry; and to regulate and license individuals involved in the marketing of agricultural products.
(a) Devise means of advancing the agricultural interests of the state and, in the performance of such duty, he or she shall have authority to call upon any state department, or officer of the state or county, to cooperate in promoting the agricultural interests of the state. It shall be the duty of any such department, or officer, upon request of the commissioner to render the assistance desired;
(b) Promote and encourage the organization of such societies and associations as have for their object the improvement and development of the state's agricultural, horticultural and kindred interests, especially in production, processing for market and distribution;
(c) Conduct cooperative work with the United States department of agriculture in inspecting and determining the grade and condition of farm produce at collecting centers, receiving centers and shipping points;
(d) Induce the investment of capital in, and immigration into, this state by the dissemination of information relative to the soil, climate, health, natural resources, market opportunities and advantages of the state;
(e) Investigate and report upon the kinds, conditions and extent of the mineral products of the state and their value;
(f) Take charge of the museum of the department of agriculture, collect, preserve and exhibit therein specimens of agricultural, horticultural and kindred products, products of the forests, minerals, flora and fauna of the state;
(g) Publish and distribute, from time to time, such reports and bulletins concerning agriculture, horticulture and kindred subjects as may be of value to the farmers of the state and, as conditions may demand, publish a handbook giving the resources of the several counties of the state, the varieties of soil and products, both mineral and vegetable, and the adaptability of the different sections of the state to the different branches of agriculture, horticulture and kindred interests;
(h) Submit a biennial report to the governor and Legislature containing such information as to the operations of the department as may be helpful to the agricultural interests of the state, together with an itemized statement of all receipts and disbursements during the biennial period covered thereby and giving the name of every person employed during such period, the time employed and the amount paid each employee;
(i) Perform such other duties and exercise such other powers as are provided in this chapter and by general law; and
(j) Propose rules, including regulatory standards, for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code for the purpose of carrying out the requirements of this chapter.
The commissioner of agriculture is hereby empowered and he shall have authority to accept and receive donations, gifts, contributions, grants, and appropriations of money, services, materials, real estate or other things of value from the United States department of agriculture, or any of its divisions or bureaus, and he shall have authority to use, utilize, develop, or expend such money, services, material, or other contributions in conformity with the conditions and provisions set forth in such grants, appropriations, or donations.
By and with the approval of the governor, the commissioner may accept and receive donations, gifts, contributions, and grants of money, services, materials, real estate, and other things of value from individuals, partnerships, associations, or corporations, and he shall have authority to utilize such contributions to encourage, promote and develop the agricultural interests or industries of the state.
The commissioner is hereby empowered, and he shall have authority, to enter into agreements with any department of state government for the purpose of carrying out any regulatory laws where or when any related functions or duties exist. He shall also have authority to enter into agreements with any city council or county court of the state of West Virginia, for carrying out the provisions of the agricultural laws over which he has enforcement authority.
The commissioner is hereby authorized to promulgate and adopt rules in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, fixing dues for permits, licenses, certificates, registrations and laboratory tests when, in the opinion of the commissioner, it becomes necessary to increase these fees in order to cover the costs of providing the services involved or issuing the permits, licenses, certificates or registrations applicable.
Commencing on the first day of July of each year, the assessors shall proceed to gather such statistics as the commissioner of agriculture and the tax commissioner may require, and the printed books, forms, blanks, papers and reports when so completed shall be returned to the commissioner of agriculture, on or before the first day of March next ensuing.
Acts, 1980 Reg. Sess., Ch. 31.
The decision of any two members of such board shall be final, and the department against which such decision shall be shall cease all activities not in conformity with such decision, and the other department shall proceed to carry on the work in conformity therewith.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session