The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is the state agency charged with overseeing agricultural business and collecting statistics on crops and livestock. The agency was established by the Texas Legislature in 1907.
TDA is based in Austin, Texas and has five regional offices, four satellite offices, seven laboratories and six livestock export facilities.
The commissioner of agriculture, who is elected in the general election every four years, heads the agency.
The following is from the Handbook of Texas Online, a publication of the Texas State Historical Commission:
Since the enactment of the Texas Sunset Act in 1977 the Texas Department of Agriculture has been subject to review every twelve years by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission. When the department came up for its first review in 1989, controversy occurred over the possibility of either making the post of agricultural commissioner an appointed one or eliminating the department entirely. Though eventually the department was continued with an elected commissioner, several changes were implemented in the agency's structure, including the establishment of a nine-member board, chaired by the agriculture commissioner, which was charged with overseeing pesticide regulation. This was an authority that had previously been granted to the commissioner of agriculture alone. In 1994 the commissioner of agriculture was Republican Rick Perry, who defeated Democrat Jim Hightower in the 1992 election. The budget for fiscal year 1995 was $21,584,790. At that time the Texas Department of Agriculture had market and regulatory powers and administered over fifty laws. To perform its duties it had five regional centers, seven suboffices, and eleven divisions.