Georgia Department of Agriculture was established in 1874. We are the oldest state department of agriculture in the U.S. We are not a branch of USDA.
The department’s mission is to provide excellence in services and regulatory functions, to protect and promote agriculture and consumer interests, and to ensure an abundance of safe food and fiber for Georgia, America, and the world by using state-of-the-art technology and a professional workforce.
The department has 659 employees under the leadership of Commissioner of Agriculture Gary W. Black. Units within the department are: Administration, Animal Industry, Food Safety, Fuel & Measures, Laboratories, Plant Industry, and Marketing.
The Georgia Department of Agriculture regulates, monitors, or assists with the following areas: grocery stores, convenience stores, food warehouses, bottling plants, food processing plants, pet dealers and breeders, animal health, gasoline quality and pump calibration, antifreeze, weights and measures, marketing of Georgia agricultural products domestically and internationally, pesticides, structural pest control, meat processing plants, seed quality, Vidalia onions, state farmers markets, plant diseases, nurseries and garden centers, fertilizer and lime, potting soil; feed, boll weevil eradication, apiaries, Humane Care for Equines Act, bottled water, and other responsibilities.