The Department of Agriculture and Forestry, directed by the Commissioner of Agriculture, is authorized under Article IV, Section 10, of the Louisiana Constitution of 1974. The mission of the department is to exercise all functions of the state relating to the promotion, protection and advancement of agriculture (except research and educational functions allocated to other agencies of state government). The goals of the department are:
1. Foster efficiency by maintaining effectiveness and low administrative costs by ensuring the success of all other departmental programs.
2. Create and sustain markets and affect jobs through its development of value-added food, agriculture and forestry products industries by way of financial assistance and counsel.
3. Assure that feed, fertilizer, horticultural products, pesticides and seeds meet quality standards.
4. Maintain a safe and healthy food supply for the people of Louisiana, while simultaneously protecting and safeguarding the producers of these products.
5. Provide regulatory services to ensure consumer protection for Louisiana producers and consumers.
6. Ensure the sustained high level of production of wood fiber while enhancing the recreational, wildlife habitat, watershed protection, and air quality values of forest lands.
7. Bring to the people of Louisiana the best technical assistance possible in order to protect and enhance the state's soil and water resources.
The Department of Agriculture and Forestry strives to achieve its goals through the operation of seven programs: Office of Management and Finance, Marketing, Office of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Office of Animal Health Services, Office of Agro-Consumer Services, Forestry, and Office of Soil and Water Conservation.
This agency's recommended appropriation includes $279,000 for short-term debt, including Lease Purchase agreements.
This agency's recommended appropriation includes $1,000,000 for long-term debt.
In addition to the above-mentioned appropriation, $137,922 will be paid in Fiscal Year 1998-1999 for long-term debt incurred on behalf of this agency from the previous sale of bonds. Total long-term debt service payments for the state for Fiscal Year 1996-1997 are reflected in the Governor's Executive Budget in Non-Appropriated Requirements Schedule 22-922.
This agency's recommended appropriation also includes the following amount by means of financing for payments on the unfunded accrued liability of the Louisiana State Employees' Retirement System in accordance with the provisions of Article X, Section 29 of the Constitution of Louisiana:
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