General Laws

Section 1. There shall be a department of agricultural resources under the supervision and control of a board of agriculture. The board shall consist of 13 members to be appointed by the governor, who shall be from diverse geographic regions of the commonwealth and shall represent diverse agricultural operations within the commonwealth.

At least 9 members of the board shall be farmers whose principal vocation is the production of food and fiber. Members shall be appointed for terms of 3 years and no member shall serve for more than 2 consecutive terms.

The board shall meet at the call of the chair but not fewer than 6 times annually or at the call of the chairman and at such times as shall be determined by its rules or at the request of the commissioner or the call of any 3 members. The chairman shall be annually appointed by a majority of the board present and voting thereon. Board members shall receive $50 for each day or portion thereof spent in the discharge of their official duties not to exceed $600 per year and shall be reimbursed for the travel to and from official board meetings and other expenses necessary to conduct such meetings.

There shall be a commissioner of agricultural resources who shall be appointed and may be removed by the secretary of environmental affairs, with the approval of the governor. The commissioner shall have charge of the administration of the department. The department may expend for traveling expenses of its employees incurred in the performance of their official duties and for other necessary expenses of the department, such sums as may be appropriated.