Program Authorization: R.S. 376:628(D)
The mission of the Office of Agro-Consumer Services Program is to regulate weights and measures; license weighmasters, scale companies and technicians; license and inspect bonded farm warehouses and milk processing plants; and license grain dealers, warehouses and cotton buyers. The goal of the Agro-Consumer Services Program is to provide regulatory services to ensure consumer protection for Louisiana producers and consumers. Towards this end, the Agro-Consumer Services Program: (1) regulates the measuring, sampling, testing and transportation of dairy products and audits all processors, distributors and retailers of dairy products; (2) licenses, inspects and audits all grain dealers, warehouses and cotton buyers in the state; (3) certifies and inspects all commercially used weights, measures and weighing and measuring devices; (4) licenses scale companies and technicians; (5) provides price stability in the marketplace and assures an environment for fair and equal competitiveness as provided under Dairy Stabilization Board rules and regulations; (6) maintains the official state standards of mass, length and volume, which are traceable to the National Institute of Standards & Technology; (7) maintains a more current pricing of milk in the market place as prices respond to fluctuations at farm level; and (8) provides grain inspection to protect the grain elevator industry and grain producers. The activities of this program are: Administrative, Weights and Measures Agricultural Commodities, and Dairy Stabilization Board.
OBJECTIVES AND PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
1. In FY 1998-99, the Agro-Consumer Services Program will provide standards for the agricultural commodity industry and will ensure that no farmers will lose money in the agricultural commodities area.
2. The Agro-Consumer Services Program will ensure that dairy farmers get paid accurately during FY 1998-99.
3. The Agro-Consumer Services Program will inspect all commercially used weighing and measuring devices and Universal Product Code (UPC) scanners to ensure consumers are being charged proper prices.
RESOURCE ALLOCATION FOR THE PROGRAM
SOURCE OF FUNDING
This program is funded with state general fund, fees and self-generated revenues, and federal funds. The fees and self-generated revenues are derived from the following: (1) inspection fees for weights and measures scales; (2) funds collected from assessments on sales of milk and dairy products; (3) reimbursement to the department from the Dairy Industry Promotion Board for collection of revenue; (4) industry reimbursed salary costs of poultry graders assigned to plants; (5) fees collected from poultry plants for grading services; and (6) fees generated from inspection of fruits and vegetables. Federal funds are received from: (1) commodity credit for reimbursement of audit expenses; and (2) USDA reimbursement for sampling commodities.
ANALYSIS OF RECOMMENDATION
The total means of financing for this program is recommended at 87.3% of the existing operating budget. It represents 83.8% of the total request ($4,491,248) for this program. The increase in state general fund is due to increased general fund for acquisitions coupled with a reduction in the retirement rate. The decrease in the total means of financing is primarily due to the removal of funding for nonrecurring carryforwards and the elimination of five vacant positions.
ACQUISITIONS AND MAJOR REPAIR
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