Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 3.2. Agriculture, Animal Care, and Food
Chapter 1. General Provisions

§ 3.2-102. General powers and duties of the Commissioner.

A. The Commissioner shall be vested with the powers and duties set out in § 2.2-601, the powers and duties herein provided, and such other powers and duties as may be prescribed by law, including those prescribed in Title 59.1. He shall be the executive officer of the Board, and shall see that its orders are carried out. He shall see to the proper execution of laws relating to the Department. Unless the Governor expressly reserves such power to himself, the Commissioner shall promote, protect, and develop the agricultural interests of the Commonwealth. The Commissioner shall develop, implement, and maintain programs within the Department including those that promote the development and marketing of the Commonwealth's agricultural products in domestic and international markets, including promotions, market development and research, marketing assistance, market information, and product grading and certification; promote the creation of new agribusiness including new crops, biotechnology and new uses of agricultural products, and the expansion of existing agribusiness within the Commonwealth; develop, promote, and maintain consumer protection programs that protect the safety and quality of the Commonwealth's food supply through food and dairy inspection activities, industry and consumer education, and information on food safety; preserve the Commonwealth's agricultural lands; ensure animal health and protect the Commonwealth's livestock industries through disease control and surveillance, maintaining animal health diagnostic laboratories, and encouraging the humane treatment and care of animals; protect public health and the environment through regulation and proper handling of pesticides, agricultural stewardship, and protection of endangered plant and insect species; protect crop and plant health and productivity; ensure consumer protection and fair trade practices in commerce; develop plans and emergency response protocols to protect the agriculture industry from bioterrorism, plant and animal diseases, and agricultural pests; assist as directed by the Governor in the Commonwealth's response to natural disasters; develop and implement programs and inspection activities to ensure that the Commonwealth's agricultural products move freely in trade domestically and internationally; and enter into agreements with federal, state, and local governments, land grant universities, and other organizations that include marketing, plant protection, pest control, pesticides, and meat and poultry inspection.

B. In addition, the Commissioner shall:

1. Establish and maintain a farm-to-school website. The purpose of the website shall be to facilitate and promote the purchase of Virginia farm products by schools, universities, and other educational institutions under the jurisdiction of the State Department of Education. The website shall present such current information as the availability of Virginia farm products, including the types and amount of products, and the names of and contact information for farmers, farm organizations, and businesses marketing such products;

2. Establish and operate a nonprofit, nonstock corporation under Chapter 10 (§ 13.1-801 et seq.) of Title 13.1 as a public instrumentality exercising public and essential governmental functions to promote, develop, and sustain markets for licensed Virginia wineries and farm wineries, as defined in § 4.1-100. Such corporation shall provide wholesale wine distribution services for wineries and farm wineries licensed in accordance with § 4.1-206.1. The board of directors of such corporation shall be composed of the Commissioner and four members appointed by the Board, including one owner or manager of a winery or farm winery licensee that is not served by a wholesaler when the owner or manager is appointed to the board; one owner or manager of a winery or farm winery licensee that produces no more than 10,000 cases per year; and two owners or managers of wine wholesaler licensees. In making appointments to the board of directors, the Board shall consider nominations of winery and farm winery licensees submitted by the Virginia Wineries Association and wine wholesale licensees submitted by the Virginia Wine Wholesalers Association. The Commissioner shall require such corporation to report to him at least annually on its activities, including reporting the quantity of wine distributed for each winery and farm winery during the preceding year. The provisions of the Virginia Public Procurement Act shall not apply to the establishment of such corporation nor to the exercise of any of its powers granted under this section; and

3. Promulgate regulations in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) not inconsistent with the laws of Virginia necessary to carry out the provisions of Article 1.1:1 (§ 18.2-340.15 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 18.2. Such regulations may include penalties for violations.

Code 1950, §§ 3-7, 3-9, 3-13; 1966, c. 702, §§ 3.1-8, 3.1-10, 3.1-14; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 34; 1975, c. 260; 1977, c. 186; 1978, cc. 219, 540; 1982, c. 150; 1985, c. 397; 1993, c. 455; 1994, cc. 261, 370; 1995, c. 10; 1996, c. 996; 2005, c. 633; 2007, cc. 352, 870, 932, §§ 3.1-14.4, 3.1-14.01; 2008, c. 860; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2020, cc. 1113, 1114; 2022, cc. 554, 609.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.