Politics for Beginners: Commissioner of Agriculture

While profiling the candidates for all of Georgia’s 2018 elections, I’ve been embarrassed to discover that I have forgotten most of what I learned from my civics classes about the roles of different branches of government. If this sounds like you, allow me to give you a politics refresher course.

Fourth lesson, what is the commissioner of agriculture?

According to this website, the commissioner of agriculture oversees Georgia’s Department of Agriculture, which in turn, is responsible for promoting and regulating Georgia’s agricultural industry.

Specifically, the GDA is in charge of providing excellence in service and regulatory functions, protecting and promoting agriculture and consumer interests, and ensuring an abundance of safe food and fiber for the state, the country, and the world, with its high tech and professional workforce.

Those responsibilities encompass more than one might think.

The GDA’s website says that they regulate, monitor, or assist with grocery stores, convenience stores, food warehouses, bottling plants, food processing plants, pet dealers and breeders, animal health, gasoline quality and pump calibration, antifreeze, weights and measures, marketing of Georgia agricultural products domestically and internationally, pesticides, structural pest control, meat processing plants, seed quality, Vidalia onions, state farmers markets, plant diseases, nurseries and garden centers, fertilizer and lime, potting soil, feed, boll weevil eradication, apiaries, Humane Care for Equines Act, bottled water, and other responsibilities.

In layman’s terms, Georgia’s Department of Agriculture and its 659 employees make sure the industry that gives us food is doing its job well and brags about them to the whole state.
The current commissioner is Republican Gary Black who was first elected on November 2, 2010 and won re-election in 2014. He is running for re-election this year and is running against Democrat Fred Swann.

If you have a preference for who gets chosen, the election will be on November 6.

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