Section 2III. There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a separate fund to be known as the Agricultural Resolve and Security Fund, the funds of which shall be expended to foster agriculture, as defined in section 1A of chapter 128, in the commonwealth and for furthering other purposes of the department of agricultural resources as set forth in any general or special law including, but not limited to, agricultural education, support for sustainable agriculture and pollution prevention, agricultural integrated pest management programs, agricultural land preservation, control of animal diseases and emergency preparedness.
The Agricultural Resolve and Security Fund may receive monies from: (1) gifts, grants and donations from public or private sources; (2) federal reimbursements and grants-in-aid; and (3) any interest earned from the fund. The state treasurer shall receive, deposit and invest funds held in such a manner as to ensure the highest interest rate available consistent with the safety of the fund. The books and records of the fund shall be subject to an annual audit by the state auditor. The department may expend such funds, subject to appropriation, and no expenditure from the fund shall cause it to be in deficiency at the close of a fiscal year. The commissioner agricultural resources shall report annually to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on environment, natural resources and agriculture on income received into the fund and sources of that income, any expenditure from the fund and their purposes and fund balances.