Established January 1, 1991 by Laws 1989, Chapter 162, (A.R.S. § 3-101 et seq). Assumed responsibility for several stand-alone agencies.
Regulates and supports Arizona agriculture in order to encourage farming, ranching, and agribusiness while protecting consumers and natural resources. The Department of Agriculture is an executive agency headed by an appointed director. A.R.S. § 3-102 establishes three divisions: Animal Services Division, Plant Industries Division, and Chemicals Division.
The Animal Services Division is responsible for milk, dairy, livestock and aquaculture regulation, the state veterinarian, meat, poultry and egg inspection and the administrative functions authorized or contracted pursuant to law for the Arizona Beef Council.
The Plant Services Division is responsible for the fruit and vegetable standardization program and entomological services.
The Environmental Services Division is responsible for regulating seed, feed and agricultural chemicals, including pesticides and fertilizers, and for native plant protection.
Statute also established, separate from the divisions of the Department, a State Agricultural Laboratory, an Office of Agriculture Safety, an Office of Inspections, and an Office of Commodity Development and Promotion.
Enacted in 1989 with an effective date of January 1, 1991 (Laws 1989, Chapter 162), the Department assumed the responsibilities of several stand-alone agencies, including the Arizona Commission of Agriculture and Horticulture, the Arizona Livestock Sanitary Board, the State Veterinarian, the State Egg Inspection Board and the State Dairy Commissioner. Some of these agencies had existed since territorial days. The legislation included an effective date of January 1, 1991 in order to provide a transition period for the affected boards and commissions. In 2008, the Office of Pest Management was established as part of the Department, replacing the Structural Pest Control Commission.
As of 2014, Department responsibilities include:
- Agricultural Chemicals (previously with Agriculture and Horticulture).
- Agricultural Consultation and Training Program (ACTP) Created in 1994, this program is responsible for increasing voluntary compliance and awareness of regulatory requirements and providing educational information on pesticide safety, air quality, and agricultural conservation. According to the Department, this compliance assistance program is unique to an agricultural regulatory agency. The program is not part of any of the Department’s enforcement programs, allowing the agricultural community to request assistance without regulatory intervention. The Agricultural Employment Relations Board contracts with the ACTP to provide administrative services.
- Agriculture Lab (State) is responsible for analyzing seed samples. (Previously with Agriculture and Horticulture; associated with the State Chemist.)
- Antiquities Act Enforcement
- Chemist, State (Previously the Office of the State Chemist and the State Agriculture Lab.)
- Citrus Fruit and Vegetable Standardization and Fresh Produce Grade Inspection Two programs, the Citrus Standardization Inspection Program and the Fruit and Vegetable Standardization Program were combined in 1989. (Previously with Agriculture and Horticulture).
- Dairy (Previously the State Dairy Commissioner, a stand-alone commission.)
- Egg Inspection (Previously the State Egg Inspection Board, a stand-alone board.)
- Environmental Services (previously with Agriculture and Horticulture). Handles agency licensing and seed sampling. Responsible for quality control of seed, feed, fertilizer and pesticides sold in Arizona.
- Inspection and quarantine of plant pests (previously with Agriculture and Horticulture).
- Livestock (Previously the Livestock Sanitary Board, a stand-alone board.)
- Native Plant law enforcement (previously with Agriculture and Horticulture).
- Office of Pest Management (previously Arizona Structural Pest Control Commission). Laws 2008, Chapter 309 established the Office of Pest Management within the Department of Agriculture.
- Pesticide Control, Board of (previously Board of Pest Control Applicators from 1953 until 1986 when it was absorbed by the Commission of Agriculture and Horticulture.
- Quality control of seed, feed, fertilizer and pesticides sold in Arizona (previously with Agriculture and Horticulture).
- Research and promotional councils – Administered by the Agricultural Consultation and Training Program include the following: Livestock and Crop Conservation Grant Program; Specialty Crop Block Grant Program; Arizona Citrus, Fruit and Vegetable Council; Cotton Research and Protection Council; Grain Research and Promotion Council, Arizona Citrus Research Council; Arizona Agricultural Protection Commission; and the Arizona Iceberg Lettuce Research Council. (Note: the Arizona Iceberg Lettuce Promotion Council was repealed by the Legislature in 1994)
- State Veterinarian The Arizona State Veterinarian has always been affiliated with the Arizona Livestock Board.
- Apiary program (A.R.S. § 3-801, repealed by Laws 1994, Chapter 337)
- Date Standardization (A.R.S. § 3-471, repealed by Laws 2001, Chapter 246)
- Pecan Standardization (A.R.S. § 3-531, repealed by Laws 2001, Chapter 246)
- Wine Commission (A.R.S. § 3-551, repealed by Laws 2003, Chapter 227, effective January. 1, 2005)
Related collections at the Arizona State Archives:
- Department of Agriculture (RG 9)
- State Chemist (RG 22)
- Office of the State Dairy Commissioner (RG 34)
- Fruit and Vegetable Standardization Service (RG 45)
- Livestock Sanitary Board (RG 60)
- Board of Pesticide Control (RG 72)
- Sheep Sanitary Commission (RG 81)
- State Legislature (RG 97)
- Environmental Quality (RG 147)
- Hudson Cotton (MG 122)
- Supima Association of America (MG 123)