Tribpedia: Department Of Agriculture

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.


(L-R) Former state Comptroller Susan Combs, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, former U.S. Rep. Henry Bonilla and former Texas A&M University President Elsa Murano.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller in his office in Austin, Sept. 14, 2016.
Terry Keel, appointed by Agriculture Commissioner-elect Sid Miller to the newly-created position of Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture for Enforcement, Consumer Protection, and Border Security. Tommy Fondren in his cotton field near a well pumping station in Lorenzo, TX, on Mar. 8, 2012 Kyle DuBois of Massey Irrigation examines a recently-installed well water meter in Lubbock, TX, on Mar. 8, 2012. Rick Perry at greenhouse at Pioneer, an agricultural company in Johnston, Iowa. At his left is Lane Arthur, VP for information management. Thursday, Nov. 3. Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples asks for increased border security at a press conference at the Capitol on March 10, 2011. Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples speaks to the press about recent border security issues at the Texas Capitol on March 10, 2011 Todd Staples Dr. David Mouser and his office cat Banjo.  After 18-years tending to cows, horses and other large animals...cats are more his speed.

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