17.03 POWERS AND DUTIES OF COMMISSIONER.
Subdivision 1. Development of agricultural industries.
The commissioner shall encourage
and promote the development of agricultural industries, investigate marketing conditions
affecting the marketing of farm products, and assist farmers, producers, and consumers in the
organization and management of cooperative enterprises and the cooperative marketing of
farm products; advise and assist in the location and establishment of local markets when the
commissioner determines that the public necessity or the welfare of the community requires such
markets, if satisfied that such markets will be successfully operated by a cooperative company
or municipality. It shall be the duty of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of
Agriculture of the University of Minnesota to cooperate in all ways that may be beneficial to the
agricultural interests of the state. It is intended that police and organizational powers in reference
to agriculture shall be exercised by the state Department of Agriculture and that the Department
of Agriculture of the University of Minnesota shall retain its present powers and duties relating to
obtaining and disseminating agricultural information and conducting agricultural research, and
shall retain custody of scientific collections.
Subd. 2. Statistics and information.
The commissioner may collect, compile, and supply
statistics and information in regard to the agricultural products of the state and agricultural
industries and, to attain this result, may cause a farm census at least once in two years, and may
do so annually if deemed advisable.
Subd. 3. Cooperation with federal agencies.
(a) The commissioner shall cooperate with the
government of the United States, with financial agencies created to assist in the development of
the agricultural resources of this state, and so far as practicable may use the facilities provided by
the existing state departments and the various state and local organizations. This subdivision is
intended to relate to every function and duty which devolves upon the commissioner.
(b) The commissioner may apply for, receive, and disburse federal funds made available
to the state by federal law or regulation for any purpose related to the powers and duties of the
commissioner. All money received by the commissioner under this paragraph shall be deposited
in the state treasury and is appropriated to the commissioner for the purposes for which it was
received. Money received under this paragraph does not cancel and is available for expenditure
according to federal law. The commissioner may contract with and enter into grant agreements
with persons, organizations, educational institutions, firms, corporations, other state agencies, and
any agency or instrumentality of the federal government to carry out agreements made with the
federal government relating to the expenditure of money under this paragraph. Bid requirements
under chapter 16C do not apply to contracts under this paragraph.
Subd. 4. Publication of information.
The commissioner is authorized to publish, from time
to time, such marketing or other information as may be deemed necessary to the welfare of
agriculture, and to that end may investigate marketing or other conditions relating to agriculture
in this and in other states, and to make these investigations public in such manner as shall in the
commissioner's judgment be most effective.
Subd. 5.[Repealed, 1987 c 312 art 1 s 25
; 1987 c 396 art 10 s 7
Subd. 6. Cooperation with Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic
The commissioner of agriculture and the commissioner of employment and
economic development shall cooperate with each other to promote the beneficial agricultural
interests of the state. The commissioner of agriculture has primary responsibility for promoting
state agricultural interests to international markets. The commissioner of agriculture is also
responsible for the promotion of national trade programs related to international marketing. The
commissioner of agriculture has primary responsibility for promoting the agriculture interests
of producers, promoting state agricultural markets, and promoting agricultural interests of the
state in cooperative production and marketing efforts with other states and the United States
Department of Agriculture. The commissioner of agriculture is also responsible for promoting the
national and international marketing of state agricultural products.
Subd. 7. Agricultural diversification.
The commissioner shall establish a program of
agricultural diversification. The commissioner must assist the horticultural industry, help
producers diversify farming operations, and coordinate state agency efforts regarding agricultural
diversification, after consulting with farm groups, the University of Minnesota, and applicable
institutions of higher learning. The commissioner shall report to the governor and legislature
annually on activities and actions that should be taken in these matters.
Subd. 7a. Nontraditional agriculture; promotion.
(a) The commissioner shall devise
means of advancing the production and marketing of nontraditional agricultural products of the
state. The commissioner shall also seek the cooperation and involvement of every department
or agency of the state, and such public and nonpublic organizations as the commissioner deems
appropriate, for the promotion of nontraditional agricultural products.
(b) The production and marketing of nontraditional agricultural products are considered
(c) Except as otherwise provided in law, the commissioner may adopt appropriate rules
concerning health standards for nontraditional agriculture.
(d) Except as otherwise provided in law, the slaughter of all meat producing animals, fowl,
or fish that are nontraditional agriculture intended for sale in commercial outlets must occur at an
(e) Except as otherwise provided in law, it is the responsibility of an owner to take all
reasonable actions to maintain the nontraditional agriculture on property owned or leased by
the owner, including the construction of fences, enclosures, or other barriers, and housing of a
(f) For purposes of this subdivision, "nontraditional agriculture" and "nontraditional
agricultural products" includes but is not limited to aquaculture as defined in section
, and the production of animals domesticated from wild stock, either native or
nonnative, that are kept in confinement by the owner.
Subd. 8.[Repealed, 2003 c 128 art 13 s 40
Subd. 9. Farm crisis assistance fees; liability.
(a) The department may charge a fee for farm
crisis assistance services it provides to persons outside of the department.
(b) The state is not liable for the actions of persons under contract with the department who
provide farm crisis assistance services as part of their contractual duties. Persons who provide
farm crisis assistance are not subject to liability for their actions that are within the scope of their
contract. The immunity from liability in this subdivision is in addition to and not a limitation of
immunity otherwise accorded to the state and its contractors under law.
(c) Fees collected by the department under this subdivision must be deposited in the general
(d) Persons under contract with the department to provide farm crisis assistance are not
employees of the state.
Subd. 10. Gifts; publication fees; advertising; appropriation.
(a) The commissioner may
accept for and on behalf of the state any gift, bequest, devise, grant, or interest in money or
personal property of any kind tendered to the state for any purpose pertaining to the activities of
the Department of Agriculture or any of its divisions.
(b) The commissioner may charge a fee for reports, publications, or other promotional or
informational material produced by the Department of Agriculture. The commissioner may solicit
and accept advertising revenue for any departmental publications or promotional materials.
(c) The fees collected by the commissioner under this section are to recover all or part of the
costs of providing services for which the fees are paid.
(d) Money received by the commissioner for these activities may be credited to one or more
special accounts in the state treasury. Money in those special accounts is annually appropriated to
the commissioner to provide the services for which the money was received.
Subd. 11. Mission; efficiency.
It is part of the department's mission that within the
department's resources the commissioner shall endeavor to:
(1) prevent the waste or unnecessary spending of public money;
(2) use innovative fiscal and human resource practices to manage the state's resources and
operate the department as efficiently as possible;
(3) coordinate the department's activities wherever appropriate with the activities of other
(4) use technology where appropriate to increase agency productivity, improve customer
service, increase public access to information about government, and increase public participation
in the business of government;
(5) utilize constructive and cooperative labor-management practices to the extent otherwise
required by chapters 43A and 179A;
(6) report to the legislature on the performance of agency operations and the accomplishment
of agency goals in the agency's biennial budget according to section
16A.10, subdivision 1
(7) recommend to the legislature appropriate changes in law necessary to carry out the
mission and improve the performance of the department.
Subd. 12. Contracts; appropriation.
The commissioner may accept money as part of
a contract with any public or private entity to provide statutorily prescribed services by the
department. A contract must specify the services to be provided by the department and the amount
and method of reimbursement. Money generated in a contractual agreement under this section
must be deposited in a special revenue fund and is appropriated to the department for purposes
of providing services specified in the contracts. Contracts under this section must be processed
in accordance with section
. The commissioner must report revenues collected and
expenditures made under this section to the chairs of the Environment and Natural Resources
Finance Committee in the house of representatives and the Environment and Agriculture Budget
Division in the senate by January 15 of each odd-numbered year.
Subd. 13. Semiannual reports.
(a) The commissioner shall submit to the legislative
committees having jurisdiction over appropriations from the agricultural fund in section
reports on the amount of revenue raised in each fee account within the fund, the expenditures
from each account, and the purposes for which the expenditures were made. The reports must
be issued in February and November each year, to coincide with the forecasts of revenue and
expenditures prepared under section
(b) The report delivered in February of each year must include the commissioner's
recommendations, if any, for changes in statutes relating to the fee accounts of the agricultural
History: (6024,6027) 1919 c 444 s 2,6; 1921 c 78 s 2,5; 1923 c 261 s 2,5; 1945 c 27 s 1;
1961 c 113 s 1; 1975 c 319 s 1; 1975 c 339 s 1; 1984 c 654 art 2 s 66; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 312
art 1 s 11; 1987 c 396 art 8 s 1; art 10 s 1; 1992 c 513 art 2 s 12,13; 1994 c 642 s 1; 1995
c 248 art 11 s 3; 1996 c 305 art 3 s 2; 1997 c 27 s 1; 1997 c 187 art 2 s 1; 1997 c 216 s 18;
1998 c 366 s 47; 1998 c 386 art 2 s 16; 1999 c 231 s 22; 2003 c 128 art 13 s 1; 1Sp2003 c 4 s
1; 1Sp2005 c 1 art 1 s 7; 2007 c 45 art 1 s 8