What does the Office of Agriculture Commissioner involve?
The Commissioner of Agriculture is elected to a four-year term of office to head the Department of Agriculture, which enforces all agricultural laws in Texas. These laws cover matters as diverse as food inspection, animal quarantine laws, licensing, disease and pest control (including pesticide safety), and promoting exports. As a legacy of its traditional duties regulating weights and measures - think grocery and produce scales - the department conducts annual checks on gas pumps to ensure their accuracy.
Texas is the second leading overall agricultural producer in the United States, ranking behind only California, making the Commissioner of Agriculture another key position in the Texas executive branch of government. As large-scale corporate producers have displaced small producers in the agricultural economy, the agriculture commissioner's regulatory decisions and policies have become matters of interest to major economic actors in the state. The Commissioner is thus another executive officer that is called upon to balance the interests of individual consumers and the environmental with the interests of agri-business.
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