Florida Commissioner of Agriculture

The commissioner of agriculture and consumer services is the head of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). The position is elected by voters statewide and is one of four members of the Florida Cabinet. The commissioner is fourth (behind the lieutenant governor, attorney general, and chief financial officer, respectively) in the line of succession to the office of Governor of Florida.[1][2] The eleventh[3] and current commissioner is Democrat Nikki Fried, who took office on January 8, 2019.

Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services of Florida
Seal of the Florida Department of Agriculture.svg
Seal of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Commissioner Fried portrait.jpg
Incumbent
Nikki Fried

since January 8, 2019
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Term lengthFour years, renewable once
Inaugural holderLucius B. Wombwell
Formation1885
Websitefdacs.gov

The commissioner serves a four-year term and is limited to two consecutive terms.[4] Although the department is largely referred to by the agriculture portion of name, the vast majority of FDACS is dedicated to consumer regulation and the protection of goods to market.

HistoryEdit

The Florida Constitution of 1868 created the commissioner of immigration, whose job was to encourage farmers to settle in Florida. An 1871 amendment created a commissioner of lands and immigration while eliminating the surveyor general.[5]

The commissioner of lands and immigration became the commissioner of agriculture when the Florida Constitution was revised in 1885. The newly renamed post also included supervision of state prisons until the Division of Corrections was established in 1957.[5]

The Agricultural Services Reorganization Act was passed in 1959 and took effect in 1961. It eliminated a number of independent bureaus and boards while transferring their duties and responsibilities to divisions under the commissioner of agriculture. The resulting divisions included administration, animal industry, chemistry, dairy industry, fruit and vegetable inspection, inspection and standards, marketing, and plant industry.[5]

The Office of Consumer Services was established by the legislature in 1967 under the purview of the commissioner of agriculture. Two years later, it was renamed the Division of Consumer Services under the Executive Reorganization Act of 1969. The department officially became the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the 1927 Board of Forestry moved to the FDACS as the Division of Forestry. The FDACS was reorganized again in 1992 along 13 functional divisions.[5]

List of Florida commissioners of agricultureEdit

Commissioners of agriculture by party affiliation
Party Commissioners
of agriculture
Democratic 10
Republican 2
# Name Term of Service Political Party
1 Lucius B. Wombwell 1888–1900 Democratic
Vacant 1900–1901
2 Benjamin E. McLin 1901–1912 Democratic
3 J. C. Luning 1912 Democratic
4 William Allen McRae 1912–1923 Democratic
5 Nathan Mayo 1923–1960 Democratic
6 Lee Thompson 1960–1961 Democratic
7 Doyle Conner 1961–1991 Democratic
8 Bob Crawford 1991–2001 Democratic
9 Terry L. Rhodes 2001 Democratic
10 Charles H. Bronson 2001–2011 Republican
11 Adam Putnam 2011–2019 Republican
12 Nikki Fried 2019–present Democratic

Living former Florida commissioners of agricultureEdit

As of October 2020, there are four living former Florida commissioners of agriculture, the oldest being Bob Crawford (served 1991–2001, born 1948). The most recent commissioner of agriculture to die was Doyle Conner on December 16, 2012 (served 1961–1991, born 1928).

Name Term of office Date of birth (and age)
Bob Crawford 1991–2001 (1948-01-26) January 26, 1948 (age 72)
Terry L. Rhodes 2001 (1956-01-01) January 1, 1956 (age 64)
Charles H. Bronson 2001–2011 (1949-01-01) January 1, 1949 (age 71)
Adam Putnam 2011–2019 (1974-07-31) July 31, 1974 (age 46)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Constitution of Florida: Article IV, Section 3". Florida Legislature. Archived from the original on December 8, 2008. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  2. ^ "Florida Statutes 14.055". Law Server. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  3. ^ FLDOACS: Commissioner's Biography
  4. ^ 1968 Constitution of Florida (as amended), Article VI, Section 4
  5. ^ a b c d "About FDACS: History". State of Florida. Retrieved 30 August 2012.

External linksEdit