The mission of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is to safeguard the public and support Florida's agricultural economy by:
Ensuring the safety and wholesomeness of food and other consumer products through inspection and testing programs;
Protecting consumers from unfair and deceptive business practices and providing consumer information;
Assisting Florida's farmers and agricultural industries with the production and promotion of agricultural products; and
Conserving and protecting the state's agricultural and natural resources by reducing wildfires, promoting environmentally safe agricultural practices, and managing public lands.
The revised Florida Constitution provides for a Governor and a "Cabinet composed of an Attorney General, a Commissioner of Agriculture and a State Chief Financial Officer".
Each of the three Cabinet officers is elected by popular vote in a statewide general election every four years, and has duties assigned by the Constitution, as well as individual responsibilities assigned by the Legislature. Each member shares with the Governor the management of major State Departments
|1868||Agriculture has always been one of Florida's major industries, but not until the Constitution of 1868 was adopted did Florida have an official in charge of promoting agriculture. The Constitution of 1868 provided for the creation of the Office of Commissioner of Immigration. The Commissioner of Immigration was empowered to attract settlers to Florida.|
|1871||The Constitution was amended consolidating the Offices of Surveyor General and Commissioner of Immigration as the new Commissioner of Lands and Immigration.|
|1885||The revised State Constitution of 1885 renamed the Commissioner of Lands and Immigration as the Commissioner of Agriculture. This official was also given supervision of the State prisons.|
|1957||Over the years, the Legislature has added many responsibilities to the Florida Department of Agriculture in the fields of inspection and regulation. The responsibility for the State prisons was removed in 1957 and taken over by the new Division of Corrections.|
|1959||The 1959 Legislature passed the Agricultural Services Reorganization Act and Governor Collins signed it June 16, 1959.
Several independent boards and bureaus were abolished and their duties assigned to the Department. The State Chemist, a position created in 1891 and filled by gubernatorial appointment, was absorbed by the Department and expanded to Director of the Division of Chemistry. The Bureau of Immigration, one of the original subdivisions, was abolished. The reorganization became effective January 15, 1961. As a result of this reorganization, the Department emerged with the Division of Administration, Animal Industry, Chemistry, Dairy Industry, Fruit and Vegetable Inspection, Marketing, Plant Industry, Inspection and Standards.
|1967||The Florida Legislature created the Office of Consumer Services and placed it in the Commissioner's Office. Under the Executive Reorganization Act of 1969, the Office of Consumer Services became the Division of Consumer Services and the independent Board of Forestry, created in 1927, became the Division of Forestry. This brought to eleven (11) the number of Divisions within the Department. In conjunction with the reorganization, the Department was renamed the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.|
|1992||The 1992 Legislature passed Chapter 92-291, Laws of Florida, which organized the Department along more functional lines.
The Department has established the following Divisions to direct its functions: Administration, Animal Industry, Plant Industry, Marketing and Development, Dairy Industry, Agricultural Environmental Services, Food Safety, Fruit and Vegetables, Consumer Services, Forestry, Standards, Aquaculture and Licensing.