The Commissioner of Agriculture, by and with the consent and advice of the Board of Agriculture shall:
(1) General. - Investigate and promote such subjects relating to the improvement of agriculture, the beneficial use of commercial fertilizers and composts, and for the inducement of immigration and capital as he may think proper; but he is especially charged:
(2) Commercial Fertilizers. - With such supervision of the trade in commercial fertilizers as will best protect the interests of the farmers, and shall report to district attorneys and to the General Assembly information as to the existence or formation of trusts or combinations in fertilizers or fertilizing materials which are or may be offered for sale in this State, whereby the interests of the farmers may be injuriously affected, and shall publish such information in the Bulletin of the Department;
(3) Cattle and Cattle Diseases. - With investigations adapted to promote the improvement of milk and beef cattle, and especially investigations relating to the diseases of cattle and other domestic animals, and shall publish and distribute from time to time information relative to any contagious diseases of stock, and suggest remedies therefor, and shall have power in such cases to quarantine the infected animals and to regulate the transportation of stock in this State, or from one section of it to another, and may cooperate with the United States Department of Agriculture in establishing and maintaining cattle districts or quarantine lines, to prevent the infection of cattle from splenic or Spanish fever. Any person willfully violating such regulations shall be liable in a civil action to any person injured, and for any and all damages resulting from such conduct, and shall also be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor;
(4) Honey and Bee Industry. - With investigations adapted to promote the improvement of the honey and bee industry in this State, and especially investigations relating to the diseases of bees, and shall publish and distribute from time to time information relative to such diseases, and such remedies therefor, and shall have power in such cases to quarantine the infected bees and to control or eradicate such infections and to regulate the transportation or importation into North Carolina from any other state or country of bees, honey, hives, or any apiary equipment, or from one section of the State to another, and may cooperate with the United States Department of Agriculture in establishing and maintaining quarantine lines or districts. The Commissioner of Agriculture, by and with the consent and advice of the Board of Agriculture, shall have power to make rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this section; and in event of failure to comply with any such rules and regulations, the Commissioner of Agriculture or his duly authorized agent is authorized to confiscate and destroy any infected bees and equipment and any bees and/or used apiary equipment moved in violation of these regulations;
(5) Insect Pests. - With investigations relative to the ravages of insects and with the dissemination of such information as may be deemed essential for their abatement, and making regulations for destruction of such insects. The willful violation of any of such regulations by any person shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor;
(6) New Agricultural Industries. - With investigations and experiments directed to the introduction and fostering of new agricultural industries, adapted to the various climates and soils of the State, especially the culture of truck and market gardens, the grape and other fruits;
(7) Drainage and Irrigation; Fertilizer Sources. - With the investigations of the subject of drainage and irrigation and publication of information as to the best methods of both, and what surfaces, soils, and locations may be most benefited by such improvements; also with the collection and publication of information in regard to localities, character, accessibility, cost, and modes of utilization of native mineral and domestic sources of fertilizers, including formulae for composting adapted to the different crops, soils, and materials;
(8) Farm Fences. - With the collection of statistics relating to the subject of farm fences, with suggestions for diminishing their cost, and the conditions under which they may be dispensed with altogether;
(9) Sales of Fertilizers, Seeds, and Food Products. - With the enforcement and supervision of the laws which are or may be enacted in this State for the sale of commercial fertilizers, seeds and food products, with the authority to make regulations concerning the same;
(10) Inducement of Capital and Immigration. - With the inducement of capital and immigration by the dissemination of information relative to the advantages of soil and climate and to the natural resources and industrial opportunities offered in this State, by the keeping of a land registry and by the publication of descriptions of agricultural, mineral, forest, and trucking lands which may be offered the Department for sale; which publication shall be in tabulated form, setting forth the county, township, number of acres, names and addresses of owners, and such other information as may be needful in placing inquiring homeseekers in communication with landowners; and he shall publish a list of such inquiries in the Bulletin for the benefit of those who may have land for sale;
(11) Diversified Farming. - With such investigations as will best promote the improvement and extension of diversified farming, including the rotation of crops, the raising of home supplies, vegetables, fruits, stock, grasses, etc.;
(12) Farmers' Institutes. - With the holding of farmers' institutes in the several counties of the State, as frequently as may be deemed advisable, in order to instruct the people in improved methods in farming, in the beneficial use of fertilizers and composts, and to ascertain the wants and necessities of the various farming communities; and may collect the papers and addresses made at these institutes and publish the same in pamphlet form annually for distribution among the farmers of the State. He may secure such assistants as may be necessary or beneficial in holding such institutes;
(13) Publication of Bulletin. - The Commissioner shall publish bulletins which shall contain a list of the fertilizers and fertilizing materials registered for sale each year, the guaranteed constituents of each brand, reports of analyses of fertilizers, the dates of meeting and reports of farmers' institutes and similar societies, description of farm buildings suited to our climate and needs, reports of interesting experiments of farmers, and such other matters as may be deemed advisable. The Department may determine the number of bulletins which shall be issued each year;
(14) Reports to Legislature. - He shall transmit to the General Assembly at each session a report of the operations of the Department with suggestions of such legislation as may be deemed needful;
(15) Repealed by Session Laws 1993, c. 561, s. 116.
(16) State Agricultural Policies. - Establish State government policies relating to agriculture.
(17) Agronomic Testing. - Provide agronomic testing services and charge reasonable fees for plant analysis, nematode testing, in-State soil testing during peak season, out-of-state soil testing, and expedited soil testing. The Board shall charge at least four dollars ($4.00) for plant analysis, at least two dollars ($2.00) for nematode testing, at least four dollars ($4.00) for in-State soil testing during peak season, at least five dollars ($5.00) for out-of-state soil testing, and at least two hundred dollars ($200.00) for expedited soil testing. As used in this subdivision, "peak season" includes at a minimum the four-month period beginning no later than December 1 of any year and extending until at least March 31 of the following year. The Board may modify the meaning of peak season by starting a peak season earlier in any year or ending it later the following year or both.
(18) Forests. - Have charge of forest maintenance, forest fire protection, reforestation, and the protection of the forests.
(19) State forests. - Have charge of all State forests and measures for forest fire prevention.
(20) Property for State forests. - Acquire real and personal property as desirable and necessary for the performance of the duties and functions of the Department under subdivision (19) of this section and pay for the property out of any funds appropriated for the Department or available unappropriated revenues of the Department, when such acquisition is approved by the Governor and Council of State. The title to any real estate acquired under this subdivision shall be in the name of the State of North Carolina for the use and benefit of the Department.
(21) State recreational forests. - Have charge of all State recreational forests.
(22) Property for State recreational forests. - Acquire real and personal property as desirable and necessary for the performance of the duties and functions of the Department under subdivision (21) of this section and pay for the property out of any funds appropriated for the Department or available unappropriated revenues of the Department, when such acquisition is approved by the Governor and Council of State. The title to any real estate acquired under this subdivision shall be in the name of the State of North Carolina for the use and benefit of the Department.
(23) Administration of North Carolina Century Farms Program. - Administer the North Carolina Century Farms Program, which recognizes farms in the State that have been continuously owned by the same family for at least 100 years. (1901, c. 479, s. 4; Rev., ss. 3294, 3724, 3944; 1917, c. 16; C.S., s. 4688; 1939, c. 173; 1973, c. 47, s. 2; 1979, c. 344, s. 1; 1981, c. 495, s. 9; 1989, c. 544, s. 4; 1993, c. 539, ss. 737, 738; c. 561, s. 116(d); 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 2011-145, ss. 13.25(i), (l), 31.7; 2011-201, s. 1; 2011-391, s. 33(a); 2013-360, s. 13.1(a).)
Last modified: March 23, 2014