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The Department is comprised of five main divisions: Agriculture and Natural Resources, Animal Health, Food and Nutrition, Marketing and Development and Plant Industry. Through these, it works to promote, protect, and serve the State's agriculture and agribusiness industries. It also manages programs that help feed school children, distribute federal foods to needy citizens, conserve soil and water resources, protect and preserve farmland, expand export markets for agricultural products, promote the commercial fishing industry, and administer educational programs in agriculture, food, and natural resources.

The Department was formed in 1916 and was one of the thirteen departments established under the New Jersey Constitution of 1947. Unlike other departments, the Secretary of Agriculture is chosen by the Board of Agriculture with approval of the Governor (rather than appointed by the Governor with advice and consent of the Senate).

Authorizing law(s) and reorganization plans: Chapter 447 of the Laws of 1948; Reorganization Plan 003-2002


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