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Agricultural Commissioners Office Homepage

IMPERIAL COUNTY AGRICULTURAL COMMISSIONERS OFFICE

852 Broadway El Centro, Ca 92243
(442) 265-1500

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DEPARTMENT DESCRIPTION

 

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Department Description

Mission Statement

Goals & Objectives

Programs/ Activities

•    Pest Detection, Eradication, and Management (PD/E/M)

•    Plant Quarantine, Exclusion, and Certification (PQE)

•    Seed and Nursery Inspection (SNI)

•    Crop Statistics - (C.Stats)

•    Weights and Measures (W&M)

•    The Africanized Honey Bee Program

•    Pesticide Use Program

 

Department Description    return

The County Agricultural Commissioner is charged with enforcing the laws of the California Food and Agricultural Code.  These laws and the regulations of the California Code of Regulations address the many aspects and complexities of agricultural production in California.  The Agricultural Commissioner must carry out the mandated duties required by the above mentioned codes. Significant activities are Pesticide Use Enforcement, Pest Detection, and Eradication, Fruit and Vegetable Quality Control at the Port of Entry Calexico-East, Pest Exclusion and Quarantine Certification of Agricultural Produce for Export, Pest Management, Seed Law Enforcement, Nursery Inspection, Egg Quality Control, and Crop Statistics.  The Agricultural Commissioner is also mandated to enforce the Weights and Measures laws in the Business and Professional Code.  These activities include the inspection and certification of all commercial weighing and measuring devices in the County.  Inspection of all gasoline pumps, water meters, truck scales and retail scales are a few examples of the activities of this area. 

Mission Statement    return

To  promote and protect our  agricultural industry  by providing  clear  direction and appropriate regulatory oversight while protecting our citizens and the environment through the enforcement of pesticide laws, weight and measurement standards, the detection and eradication of pests harmful to our agricultural industry, human health and other plant resources. 

Ensure that all pesticide applications are conducted in a safe and effective manner; that field workers, the community, and the environment are protected; and our agricultural products are healthful and safe to eat.

Ensure that the farmers in the County receive viable and vigorous seed, and that the seed that is produced and shipped out of the County meets all of the industry standards.

Ensure that agricultural commodities are able to move out of the county, state or country by providing inspection and certification services as needed.

Prevent the introduction and establishment of harmful insects, diseases and weeds.

Protect the public and local businesses by inspecting and certifying all weighing and measuring devices for accuracy.

Ensure that the produce entering the country through the Port of Entry meets California standards for quality.

•    Pest Detection, Eradication, and Management (PD/E/M)     return - This program is mandated to monitor agricultural and urban areas for harmful exotic pests using trapping and visual surveys, and to control or eradicate exotic pests as appropriate in order to protect the local agricultural industry, environment, the public, and landscaping.  Surveys continue for Medfly, Mexican fruit fly, Oriental fruit fly, melon fly, Gypsy moth, Japanese beetle, glassy-winged sharpshooter, Asian citrus psyllid, and light brown apple moth.  The department also provides field inspection services for growers that wish to export commodities, pest identification services, and enforcement of pest related laws and regulations intended to protect the local agricultural industry.

•    Plant Quarantine, Exclusion, and Certification (PQE)    return - The department is mandated to exclude exotic agricultural, urban, and environmental pests and to prevent movement of newly discovered pests within the state.  This is accomplished through inspection of incoming agricultural products and enforcement of quarantines that prohibit or restrict the movement of plants, seeds, and other items capable of harboring harmful pests.  In addition, certificates of quarantine compliance and phytosanitary certificates are issued for commodities originating here in order to assist growers in moving their products to other counties, states, or countries.

•    Seed and Nursery Inspection (SNI)    return  - The goals of the nursery inspection programs are to prevent the introduction and spread of agricultural pests through nursery stock and to protect agriculture and the consumer against economic losses resulting from the sale of inferior, defective, or pest-infested nursery stock.  The seed law enforcement program protects seed consumers by regulation of the marketing of seed, inspection of seed grown or sold locally, verification of purity and germination, investigation of seed complaints, and prevention of the spread of noxious weed seeds through seed products.  Also included in this program is the California Certified Seed Program in which superior varieties of seed are grown, processed, and distributed under close supervision.

•    Crop Statistics - (C.Stats)    return - The economic health of the agricultural industry in the county is provided to the Secretary of Food and Agriculture through the production of an annual crop report.  A wide range of agencies and organizations use the report.

•    Weights and Measures (W&M) return - The department is mandated by state law to register and inspect every weighing and measuring device used for commercial purposes. This inspection and certification of accuracy assures consumers and businesses that the product they purchase is true to weight or measure, and ensures fair competition in the marketplace.  These inspections also include verifying the quantity of bulk and packaged commodities; enforcing the quality, advertising, and labeling standards for petroleum products; and price verification for sales that use scanners and other point of sale devices.

•    The Africanized Honey Bee Program return provides bee safety presentations and Africanized honey bee information to individuals, schools, businesses, agencies, and other groups.

•    Pesticide Use Program  return The Agricultural Commissioner is responsible for implementing and enforcing the laws and regulations of the pesticide use enforcement program and issuing permits for all Restricted Use Materials and Operator Identification Numbers to agricultural pesticide applicators.  Growers of crops, onto which restricted pesticides are to be applied, are required to obtain a user permit, which defines the manner, method and approximate time of the proposed application.  All agricultural and commercial pesticide applications are randomly monitored to ensure that pesticides are handled in an environmentally safe manner and the pesticide handlers, the community, and field workers are protected.  In addition, any illness or complaint of exposure resulting from pesticide use is investigated and reported to the State of California Department of Pesticide Regulation.                                     

•    Fruit and Vegetable Inspection return is a service function of the Agricultural Commissioner's Office to ensure that fruits and vegetables meet the minimum standards established under the Agricultural codes and to protect and promote the fruit and vegetable industries.  This service makes available inspections in fields, packinghouses, wholesale markets, retail distribution centers, retail outlets, and the Calexico Port of Entry.  Currently the inspections are voluntary for Imperial Valley growers.

•    The Imperial County Whitefly Management Committee return was established by the Board of Supervisors to develop a multifaceted management program to control whitefly damage in agricultural and urban settings.  The program is being accomplished through coordination of the research projects being undertaken throughout the southwest that are funded through public and private donations.

•    The Agricultural Commissioner Standardization return is a special revenue fund that receives revenue generated by the Fruit and Vegetable program.  Revenue received over and above the expenditures of the program are deposited into this account and rebated to the growers who paid the fees for inspection.  This program was suspended in November of 2003 and unless it is reinstated, the account will be closed in the near future.

•    The Agricultural Research Project return is a Board approved Trust Fund the Department uses to deposit fine and penalty money used to fund pest control research projects.

•    The Pesticide Training & Mitigation Program return provides training to the pest control and agricultural industries on pesticide laws and regulations, safe use practices, and protection of human health and the environment.

•    The Border Inspection Station return receives revenue generated by the Imported Fruit and Vegetable Inspection Program and is used to offset expenditures of the department’s Inspection Program.