The Office of the Commissioner of Agriculture is established by the North Carolina State Constitution.
The Commissioner is elected by the people of the state in elections held every four years. As a constitutional officer, the Commissioner of Agriculture is a member of the Council of State, which is headed by the Governor and constitutes the highest ranking body in the Executive Branch of State Government.
The Commissioner is in charge of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, consisting of 20 divisions and more than 2,000 employees.
In addition to its primary goal of protecting, maintaining and enhancing the ability of agriculture to produce an adequate supply of food and fiber in North Carolina, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is responsible for the enforcement of many regulatory programs which protect and promote the health, safety and welfare of all the citizens of North Carolina.
The Commissioner directs the implementation of more than 75 different laws and programs. The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' divisions have responsibilities in regulatory and service areas covering agronomy; animal health; weights and measures; gas and oil inspection; crop and livestock statistics; USDA commodity distribution; state farm operations; food, drug and cosmetic testing for purity; agricultural marketing and promotion; agricultural marketing grading; international agricultural crop and livestock marketing; operation of the North Carolina State Fair and North Carolina Mountain State Fair; operation of four state farmers markets; research station operations; seed and fertilizer inspection; nursery and plant pest eradication activities; regulation of the structural pest control industry; agricultural environmental issues; soil and water conservation; forest promotion and protection; state and federal agricultural legislation; and agricultural economic analysis.
In addition, the Commissioner works with the General Assembly to promote the enactment of legislation beneficial to agriculture and other matters important to the well being of citizens of North Carolina.