Georgia Department of Agriculture

History of the Georgia Department of Agriculture

The Georgia Department of Agriculture administers a variety of programs which all have a primary goal – to maintain the state’s viable farm industry and protect the consuming public.  These multifaceted programs affect all 8,829,383 Georgians as well as countless others throughout the United States and the world, where Georgia agribusiness products are consumed.

Established by the Legislature in 1874, the Georgia Department of Agriculture is the nation’s oldest such agency.  The primary charge of the department when it was founded was to promote agricultural improvements; gather and dispense information on crop acreage, markets and prices; inspect oil and fertilizer sold in the state; and to maintain an experimental farm.

Over the years, the department has been assigned additional responsibilities to meet the ever-changing needs of Georgia’s farmers and consumers.  For example, this agency has duties as varied as registering thousands of pesticides to licensing grocery stores, bakeries, all pet stores and equine boarding facilities throughout the state.

Agriculture remains Georgia’s largest industry, generating more than $5.1 billion per year in cash receipts to the state’s economy.  Despite all the changes in society, farming remains the foundation of the state’s economic well-being.

After reviewing our website, it will be certainly evident that while all Georgians may not live on farms, the Georgia Department of Agriculture impacts their lives in some way, every day.

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