NYS EGG QUALITY ASSURANCE PROGRAM
The New York State Egg Quality Assurance Program continues to expand with twelve certified participants currently enrolled, including two of our largest egg producers. Salmonella enteriditis (SE) has not been cultured from any certified participants to date. Human SE outbreaks have not been traced back to New York egg producers in the last two years.
The Division is responsible for the administration of the dog licensing, identification and control law, animal care inspections of municipal dog shelters and certification and evaluation of municipal dog control officers. During 1999 (exclusive of New York City) license fees were $2,434,602. Counties retained $732,328, towns retained $1,290,339. The Stateās share was $411,934. The NYS Animal Population Control Program began on February 1, 1996 and $587,328 was collected during 1999 from the $3 fee on all unspayed/unneutered dogs and the "Love Your Pet" license plate.
There were 197 dog damage claims processed in 1999 with $61,263 paid in damages. Three of these claims were appealed to the Department for review.
One rabies indemnification claim was paid in 1999 for a total of $250.Top
The Division of Dairy Industry Services and Producer Security regulates the New York State dairy industry through controls and programs related to milk pricing, marketing, and dairy farmer security. The Division also oversees programs that promote the consumption of milk and dairy products.
During 1999, milk production in New York State totaled 12.0 billion pounds, up 2.5 percent from 1998, setting a new record for the second year in a row. New York is the third largest milk producing state in the country. In 1999, the number of milk cows in the state was unchanged from 1998 while milk production per cow increased 2.5 percent to a new record high of 17,175 pounds. Estimated sales of fluid milk were slightly lower than in 1997. Butter production was up 16 percent from 1998, to 25 million pounds, while cheese production (excluding cottage) increased 8.1 percent, to 682 million pounds.
Prices received by New York dairy farmers for milk averaged $14.60 per hundredweight, $0.80 (5.2 percent) below 1998. The value of milk at the farm amounted to around $1.76 billion in 1999, down from $1.81 billion in 1998.
MILK DEALER LICENSING
The number of milk dealer licenses issued in 1999 decreased to 710, down 48 licensees from the previous year. In 1999, one processing plant closed and none were opened; two manufacturing plants closed and two new plants opened; and the number of transfer plants remained the same. Of those milk dealers that purchase milk from farmers or cooperative, the majority, 96, provided required security by making payments to the Milk Producers Security Fund (Security Fund), which had a balance of $5.9 million at the end of 1999. Three milk dealers participating in the Security Fund were required to file mandatory security covering a portion of the value of their milk purchases. The total security filed by such dealers was $7.4 million. Twenty-one dealers elected to file full security with the Department to insure payments for their milk purchases. The total value of such security was $82.2 million.
During the year, no claims were paid from security filed by dealers or from the Milk Producers Security Fund. However, at year end, one claim was pending in the amount of approximately $28,000. Refunds of licenseesā pro rata share of the Security Fund totaling $158,468 were made to licensees who either went out-of-business or who were no longer participating.
MILK MARKETING ORDERS
During 1999, implementation of the new federal order system was delayed from April 4, 1999 to October 1, 1999 as a result of congressional action. This action automatically extended the authorization of the Northeast Interstate Dairy Compact until October 1, 1999. A final decision proposing changes to the federal milk order system was issued on March 12, 1999. In August 1999, a dairy producer referendum was conducted to determine approval of the revised federal milk marketing orders.
In order to modify the Western New York State Order to be consistent with the federal order, a hearing was held in July 1999. On September 1, 1999 the Commissioner issued a final decision, order and notice of referendum. A producer referendum was completed on September 10, 1999 and a final determination was issued on September 30, 1999 to implement the order beginning October 1, 1999.
Implementation was delayed by a federal district court after several producer dairy cooperatives contested the implementation of the Class I price structure contained in the federal final decision. In November 1999, Congress modified the Class I price differential in an acceptable way to the dairy cooperatives and mandated that the federal orders be implemented on January 1, 2000. This legislation extended the Northeast Interstate Dairy Compact through September 30, 2001.
Changes in the Western New York State Order needed to be aligned with Class I prices with those under the federal orders. A state order hearing was held on December 28, 1999 with a final decision, order and notice of referendum issued on December 30, 1999. A producer referendum was held and a final determination was issued on December 31, 1999 and the new state order was implemented on January 1, 2000.
Competitive premiums paid to New York State producers over the minimum market order prices averaged approximately $0.40 per hundredweight, about the same as in 1997 and 1998.
DAIRY PROMOTION ORDER
In 1999, New York dairy farmers spent nearly $11.9 million to promote the sale of milk and dairy products in New York State and nearby states where their milk is marketed. Dairy promotion activities are financed by an assessment of $0.10 per hundredweight of milk marketed by New York dairy farmers. In addition, $0.05 per hundredweight of milk marketed is contributed to the National Dairy Promotion Program.
Approximately 75 percent of the total New York Dairy Promotion Order funds were spent in New York State markets for media advertising, nutrition education, publicity, information and supporting services, research and national program support. A New York dairy farmer advisory board oversees the appropriate expenditure of money to promote New York producer milk and dairy products.
PACKAGED MILK PRICES AND MARGINS
Retail prices of milk, low fat milk and skim milk were surveyed each month in 22 Upstate New York markets and nine Metropolitan New York areas. The monthly survey covers supermarkets throughout the state and smaller grocery stores in Metropolitan New York. Convenience and dairy stores in Upstate markets were surveyed each quarter. For the year, the retail supermarket price for a gallon of milk averaged $2.61 in Upstate New York, up $0.08 from 1998, and averaged $2.86 in Metropolitan New York, up $0.09 from last year. The raw milk cost averaged $1.39 per gallon in Upstate New York and $1.49 per gallon in Metropolitan New York, each $0.02 higher than in 1998. As a result of these changes, the gallon container marketing margin for 1999 increased $0.06 in Upstate New York and increased $0.07 in Metropolitan New York.
RETAIL MILK PRICE SURVEY AND OVERSIGHT
Consumers are protected under a section of the New York State General Business Law from milk price increases greater than a temporary amount provided to dairy farmers, and from excessively high retail milk prices on a continuous basis. Monitoring retailersā compliance with the provisions of the statute has been carried out using existing milk price surveys. Compliance has been widespread, and there were no violations during 1999.Top
The Division of Food Safety and Inspection is responsible for maintaining the safety of the food supply from the producer to the retailer, as well as providing unbiased third party product grading services for a wide variety of farm and fishery products.
FOOD SAFETY, SANITATION AND LABELING
During 1999, 31,568 sanitary inspections were conducted in an effort to ensure the safety, cleanliness, and proper labeling of food during processing, transportation, and sale, 2,006 more than in 1998. There are 28,433 establishments under the Divisionās jurisdiction, including food canneries, frozen food processing plants, bakeries, candy manufacturers, beverage bottlers, cereal and baby food manufacturers, flour mills, retail food stores, and refrigerated warehouses. At the end of 1999, approximately 83 percent of these establishments were in substantial compliance on their most recent inspection.
Approximately 4,235 samples of various foods were collected for analyses by the Departmentās State Food Laboratory to determine compliance with food standards, adulteration with inferior substitute ingredients, undeclared or non-permitted preservatives, heavy metals, color additives, contamination with filth, spoilage, pathogenic bacteria, toxins or parasites.
There were 4,407 penalties assessed, totaling $2,179,955 for insanitary conditions at food establishments, misbranded eggs or produce, economic fraud, unit pricing violations, sale of adulterated food, operating without the required license, unauthorized removal of seized foods and other violations of the Agriculture and Markets Law. Final determinations were made by the Commissioner in 109 cases to consider revoking or declining to grant or renew licenses at food establishments because of insanitary conditions and all but one license was denied or revoked.
The Department also held 556 conferences as an interim step, which are held in lieu of an administrative hearing or injunction proceeding. Approximately 73 percent of the establishments which participate in such conferences are found in compliance during their next inspection. This, of course, significantly reduces the need for administrative hearings, injunctions or other legal remedies.
FOOD SAFETY OUTREACH PROGRAM
During 1999, the Division conducted 17 food safety and labeling seminars for members of the regulated industry across New York State. More than 970 food establishment executives, supervisors, and employees attended these seminars which explained the food safety issues behind Agriculture and Markets law and regulations, and offered advice on how to keep their respective businesses in compliance. In addition, the Division made available, upon request, inspection status reports and statistics to food chains interested in monitoring their compliance status and pinpointing problem areas.
FARM PRODUCTS GRADING AND INSPECTION
Grading and certifying fruits, vegetables, fish and fishery products, poultry, eggs and red meat is also a service which the Department provides to producers and shippers of agricultural products on a fee basis. The service is widely used to insure fulfillment of purchase contract requirements, as a basis for delivery rejections, and in the settlement of disputes over product quality and grade.
New York State consumer food protection programs made up the majority of the work performed in the Food Laboratory during 1999. The various Divisions submitted a total of 18,669 food, beverage and agricultural samples and 74,600 chemical and microbiological tests were conducted. Approximately 85 percent of the samples were found to be properly labeled and free of adulteration.Top
There are currently more than ten million consumers purchasing from about 50,000 food items marked kosher. Kosher enforcement is an important responsibility of the Department of Agriculture and Markets. The Divisionās consumer protection activities play a vital role in ensuring that kosher food is properly manufactured and labeled. Increasing inspections in recent years have resulted in a higher degree of compliance. During 1999, there were 7,277 inspections, 418 investigations and 63 consumer complaints. The Counselās Office processed 103 violations.Top
The Division of Milk Control assures consumers that milk produced in New York State is wholesome and pure.
The Division issues licenses for those who sample, receive or test milk, including tank truck drivers and those who work in laboratories testing milk and milk products. The Division is also active in the Interstate Milk Shippers Program, which facilitates interstate movement of wholesome, quality milk.
The Division certifies and supervises 140 industry milk inspectors, who inspect approximately 7,700 dairy farms. In 1999, approximately 5,000 dairy farms were visited to determine the accuracy of sampling producer milk and to evaluate the performance of Certified Industry Milk Inspectors. Milk delivery vehicles, pasteurization equipment and processing plants were all inspected to determine their compliance with requirements and to assess sanitary conditions. Of those inspected, the Division processed 3,119 milk violations, 337 labeling and misbranding cases and 1,059 sampling cases. To assure adequate practices and safeguards are followed, and to minimize environmental contamination of dairy food, the Division continues to work closely with FDA in its initiative relative to dairy plant sanitation.
LABELING AND REPRESENTATION OF MILK AND DAIRY PRODUCTS
During 1999, 14,886 samples were submitted to the State Food Laboratory for chemical and bacteriological analysis and many samples were screened at the Departmentās nine regional laboratories located throughout the state. Approximately 5,742 samples of consumer milk and dairy products were field tested for butterfat and added water. More than 14,000 tests of producer milk were conducted for butterfat, water, antibiotics, abnormal milk and sediment and approximately 21,947 weight tests performed on packaged milk and ice cream.
TRAINING, SEMINARS AND CONSUMER EDUCATION
Seven Milk Processing Superintendent seminars and six annual training schools for Certified Industry Milk Inspectors were held in 1999 with approximately 200 in attendance at each event. Seminars were also held for Milk Laboratory Technicians. The Division also played an important role in the operation of the dairy products exhibits at the New York State Fair.
PRODUCER PROTECTION AND SERVICES
In 1999, the Division conducted 437 inspections of milk receivers (persons who sample and measure milk at the farm); made 660 inspections of milk testing laboratories; assuring that properly trained and qualified people use proper equipment and techniques to determine the acceptance or rejection of milk from farmers and that farmerās milk is accurately measured, sampled and tested.
ANIMAL DRUG RESIDUE CONTROL
The Division continues to work closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments to assure an effective animal drug residue control program for the milk supply. Much of the national program was patterned after the Departmentās program, which has been in place in New York for many years.Top
The Division of Plant Industry is responsible for maintaining plant health, promoting integrated pest management practices, identifying vacant public land suitable for community gardening and detecting and preventing the spread of bee diseases.
ASIAN LONG HORNED BEETLE
The Asian Long Horned Beetle, which attacks and kills trees such as maple, elm, horse chestnut, poplar, ash, birch and willow, was discovered in Brooklyn in 1996 and then in Amityville, Long Island. At that time, the two areas of infestation were placed under federal and state quarantine. In 1999, four satellite infestations were detected: in the Bayside section of Queens, Manhattan, Flushing and Islip, Long Island. To date, more than 4,400 trees from the infested areas have been cut, chipped and incinerated. If the identification of infested trees continues unimpeded, suppression of the pest population can be achieved. Eradication however, will be dependent upon our ability to prevent future introductions and to locate the remaining infested trees and/or satellite populations of the beetle.
SMALLER JAPANESE CEDAR LONGHORN BEETLE
The Smaller Japanese Cedar Longhorn Beetle poses a possible threat to the nursery industry and to native and cultivated cedars, junipers and aborvitae. In April of 1999, the beetle was detected infesting cedar posts in North Castle, Westchester County and Riverhead, Suffolk County. The infested posts were chipped. In October of 1999, the beetle was reported to be infesting live arborvitae on two residential properties on Staten Island. Eighteen arborvitae at the two locations were placed under quarantine.
The Golden Nematode, recognized as one of the most difficult of all crop pests to eradicate, is a quarantined pest that was discovered in potato fields on Long Island and several areas in upstate New York. For over 50 years, the Department and USDA have worked cooperatively to preserve the potato industry in New York and to prevent the spread of the nematode. In 1999, one field on Long Island was identified and confirmed as infested with Ro2, a new biotype of the golden nematode. This strain cannot be controlled with the resistant potato varieties that have been used and found to be effective against the traditional strain (Ro1). Although not believed to be widespread, the new biotype will require additional survey and research to identify its distribution and to support the development of new potato varieties resistant to its multiplication and spread. The Department continues to monitor resistant variety use on regulated land by collecting potato leaf samples for DNA analysis.
LATE BLIGHT INITIATIVE - POTATOES
The impact of new strains of the late blight pathogen continues to be felt throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. However, due to the dry weather in 1999, late blight was almost nonexistent in the Northeast. There are many components to an effective management program to suppress potato late blight. In the short term, cultural practices contribute significantly, and fungicides are an important component of an integrated management strategy. In the longer-term, resistant potato plants will significantly contribute to the management and control of this serious pathogen.
PINE SHOOT BEETLE
New York is one of the original six states where the Pine Shoot Beetle was found during 1992. Seven new county records for Pine Shoot Beetle were reported in the 1999 trap survey. This brings the total number of infested counties in New York to 29. As of December 1999, the Pine Shoot Beetle has been detected in a total of 276 counties and 11 states.
There are two strains of Scleroderris Canker in North America, one of which is found in New York, and has caused serious mortality in pole-sized red and Scots pine plantations. The movement of trees grown on sites that have been found infected or exposed to infection is restricted to locations within the quarantined area. Plant material from sites within the quarantined area that have been inspected and found free of the disease received certification and were allowed to move with no additional restrictions.
CHRYSANTHEMUM WHITE RUST
White rust, found in New York in 1997, both weakens and disfigures chrysanthemum plants. In 1999, chrysanthemums from 1,295 retail outlets across 60 counties were inspected for the presence of CWR with negative results. The spread of the disease has been checked primarily by exclusion (quarantines). When white rust has entered the United States, survey, sanitation, modified cultural practices and fungicides have been employed to eradicate the disease. Since infectious spores can only live up to eight weeks, the disease cycle can be broken by a host free period of equal duration.
APIARY INSPECTION PROGRAM
Since the discovery of the honeybee tracheal mite and the Varroa mite, the maintenance of the stateās viable honeybee population has been of great concern to the Department. Left undetected or untreated, apiaries infested with these parasites will exhibit a high rate of colony mortality. In 1999, apiary inspectors inspected 5,426 honeybee colonies from 110 apiaries for American foulbrood disease and parasitic mites. The Department also issued certificates to 21 beekeepers permitting the interstate movement of 9,004 honeybee colonies. Approximately 29,500 honeybee colonies entered New York State under permit in 1999.
The small hive beetle, found for the first time in the U.S. in Florida in 1998, is known as an apiary pest in South Africa. The Department, in cooperation with the Department of Environmental Conservation and Cornell University, sought and obtained a FIFRA Specific Emergency Exemption request for the use of coumaphos for the control of the Varroa mite and the small hive beetle in New York State during 1999. In the course of inspections for the interstate movement of hives, the presence of the small hive beetle was reported from a commercial apiary.
SEED & FERTILIZER INSPECTIONS
The application and use of fertilizers and liming materials contribute to maintaining productive, profitable, and competitive agricultural and horticultural industries. In 1999, 84 commercial fertilizer samples were obtained for analysis and comparison to their labeled guarantees. In addition, ten agricultural liming materials were also sampled for analysis.
Seed offered or exposed for sale within New York is subject to specific labeling and testing requirements. A limited amount of seed sampling was performed in 1999. One hundred eighty-seven (187) inspections were conducted with 134 samples being taken for analysis.
PLANT PEST LAW
The number of nursery grower licensees increased in 1999. The total acreage (28,351 acres) and square footage of glass (24,508,823) engaged in the production of plant material increased correspondingly. The number of nursery dealer licenses decreased slightly. The 2,954 nursery grower licenses validated through 1999 were comprised of 2,255 main locations, 377 additional selling sites, and 322 growing locations. During this same period 4,122 nursery dealers were licensed.
INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT
The New York State Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program seeks to transform chemically intensive agriculture into an ecologically sound production system. It takes a holistic approach to understanding the relationships between organisms in the agro-ecosystem, finding ways to enhancing natural pest management processes, and adopting the cropping patterns most suited to the local environment. IPMās desired outcome is increased overall social and environmental welfare, in addition to the economic management of plant and animal pests.
Since 1985, approximately 700 research and development, demonstration and implementation projects have been undertaken by the New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell in the areas of fruit, vegetables, ornamentals and turf, and dairy/field crops. The emphasis of funding continues to be in the area of bio-intensive studies and implementation projects. There were 56 projects funded in 1999 involving on-farm demonstrations, research and development, public awareness, electronic technology and weather and disease forecasting.Top
The New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee establishes policy to guide and assist county Soil and Water Conservation Districtsā programs. Department staff work to assist in managing programs which are funded by state and county appropriations.
AGRICULTURAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) activities throughout the state have mushroomed with funding of Tier 2 assessment and Tier 3 planning projects. In 1999, 55 of the 62 counties in New York were participating in AEM, involving over 5,000 farms. The AEM Certification Subcommittee developed a process for certifying private sector consultants to develop plans. The AEM Evaluation Subcommittee completed a multi-year document to help assess program participation and effectiveness.
AGRICULTURAL NONPOINT SOURCE ABATEMENT
Round VI of the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Grant Program was completed in 1999 with funding provided by the Environmental Protection Fund and the Governorās Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act. The State Committee will administer funding for 31 projects totaling $3,100,000 in State funding from the Environmental Protection Fund and 13 projects totaling $1,270,534 in state funding from the Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act. Typical projects include agricultural waste management systems, stream bank stabilization, nutrient management and agricultural environmental management (AEM) assessment and planning.
ASSISTANCE TO DISTRICTS
The 58 County Soil and Water Conservation Districts submitted $6,902,265 of total eligible reimbursable expenses for the technical assistance which they provide to individuals, groups and units of government. In accordance with available appropriations, the Department reimbursed $899,999 to the Districts for eligible expenses.Top
The 1999 New York State Fair established an all-time record attendance of 959,408 people, breaking the previous record by 77,329. In fact, the standing record was shattered after the Fairās 11th Day as consistently large numbers of patrons enjoyed the Fair throughout its 12-day run. These record numbers were gratifying since they mirrored the pace that was established in 1998 when a devastating storm hit Central New York and the Syracuse area last year, canceling the 12th and final day of the Fair.
The Fair benefited from cooperative weather, a very strong concert lineup, several new exhibits, layout changes and visits by several celebrities that generated widespread media coverage starting with the opening of the Fair by New York Governor George Pataki.
New featured attractions included Space Expo 2000, NewsCapade ö a traveling exhibit on the history and new technological frontier of newspapers, a working exhibit of the Corning Museum of Glass and a 40 by 60 foot miniature exhibit of The White House designed by John Zweifel. New family shows included the Marionette Star Theater, Chinese Acrobats, the Sea Lion Splash Show and the Pirates of the Caribbean High Dive.
The Fairās grandstand concert lineup was the most successful ever as all-time attendance and gross records were established. Sales exceeded $1.9 million for the first time ever on total attendance of nearly 90,000 for the 11 shows. An all-time sold out Fair record of 17,059 attended the 98 Degrees and Britney Spears concert on September 2.
The Fair extended its strong corporate support as more than $900,000 in sponsorship and financial participation was acquired this year. More than $300,000 in premium money was awarded from over 32,000 entries submitted in the various agricultural and livestock competitions and The International Horse Show.
The Empire Expo Center continued its expansion of its year-round building and facility use as more than 2 million patrons came on the grounds for events and activities. The yearly schedule featured many return events such as DIRT Week; farm, boat and recreational vehicle shows; conventions; antique and craft shows; circuses; horse shows; harness racing; theatrical and music productions; banquets and many special events.
The Fairās operating revenues continued to outpace expenses. In 1995 revenues were $8.5 million and increased to a record $12 million at year-end 1999. This represents a million-dollar increase in revenue per year for the last four years as well as an average operating profit per year of over one million dollars for the same time period.Top
The Bureau of Weights and Measures is responsible for assuring measurement accuracy and uniformity in commerce throughout New York State. This work is done in cooperation with municipal weights and measures departments throughout the State and involves a variety of programs regulating measuring device accuracy, packaged commodity net contents, and quality standards for gasoline and diesel fuel. The program seeks to assure equity in the marketplace, protecting both consumers and businesses.
TRAINING & INSPECTION
The Bureau supervises 64 municipal weights and measures programs throughout the State and also sponsors Weights and Measures Technical Training Schools, which train state and municipal officials on current inspection and testing procedures. During the year, Bureau specialists provided training to 147 municipal officials, down approximately 10 percent from 1998 due to staffing shortages. While evaluating and training municipal officials, Bureau specialists inspected 853 stores, testing 3,962 scales, 266 gasoline stations, testing 4,235 gas pumps, and inspected/tested 354 fuel oil truck meters. They also checked 36,820 packaged commodities, both factory-packaged and store-packaged, for accurate net contents.
Petroleum Quality Program
The Bureau administers the Petroleum Quality Program, which requires petroleum marketers, at all levels of distribution, to accurately represent the quality of the gasoline and diesel fuel products they dispense. In addition to basic standards for each fuel, the program monitors certification and posting of gasoline octane rating, alcohol content of gasoline, and diesel fuel cetane rating. The program involves year-round sampling; state specialists collect samples at distribution terminals and municipal officials collect samples at retail establishments. State specialists collected 5,773 gasoline and 844 diesel fuel samples from 193 distribution terminals statewide. Municipal officials collected 13,550 gasoline and 1,469 diesel fuel samples from 4,534 retail stations.
Weighmaster Licensing Program
Each year the Bureau issues or renews licenses for weighmasters throughout the State. Weighmasters certify the weights of commodities sold or transported where either the buyer or seller cannot be present to witness the weighing. The weight tickets are used for transactions and shipments within the State and in other states in reciprocal agreements. In 1999, the Bureau issued 2,342 weighmaster licenses and $23,420 was collected in fees.
The Bureau operates the Stateās metrology laboratory to verify the accuracy of weights and measures standards and to evaluate new types of weighing and measuring devices. The lab provides calibration services, testing and certifying measurement standards, for municipal weights and measures programs, private industry and other government agencies. The type of approval program that evaluates new weighing and measuring devices interfaces with the National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP), under which a device receives a nationwide approval accepted in most of the 50 states. Through this program a manufacturer need only have a device tested once to get approval across the United States. The New York laboratory is one of six state testing facilities in the NTEP program.
Special Testing Programs
The Bureau operates a group of special testing programs that inspects and tests commercial devices not tested by municipal officials, such as devices that require specialized equipment. For these devices, the Bureau maintains the equipment and performs these tests on a user fee basis. The devices covered include large capacity scales, rack meters at petroleum distribution terminals, propane gas meters, and scales used by State and municipal police to enforce highway weight limits.
The Bureau of Weights and Measures is the Executive Secretariat of the State Metric Council, a consortium of 14 state agencies created in 1976 for an orderly transition to the metric system. Although industry has set the pace of metric conversion, the State has the responsibility of educating and assisting citizens, industry, and commerce to adapt to the metric system.Top
Human Resources establishes and administers the Departmentās human resources policies including recruitment, examination, time and attendance, classification, labor relations, training and development, and health and safety programs. During 1999, the Division of Human Resources Management continued to assimilate new Year 2000 compliant personnel and payroll transaction systems, accident reporting system and A health benefits administration system. Facilitated by a year of expanding employment opportunities, the number of appointments, requests to reclassify/classify positions and staff time devoted to recruitment increased during this calendar year.
The Counselās Office advises and represents the Commissioner in matters involving legal issues pertaining to the authority and duties of the Department of Agriculture and Markets. Areas of responsibility include litigation, administrative adjudication, legislation, rulemakings, investigations, and contract development and negotiation. During 1999, Counselās Office prosecuted numerous actions to enjoin violations of the Agriculture and Markets Law and to recover penalties assessed for violations of that Law. In judicial review proceedings, Counselās Office successfully defended against challenges to determinations of the Commissioner, including ones issued under the Stateās Right-To-Farm Law, and statutory provisions which limit the enactment and administration of local laws which unreasonably restrict farming practices within an agricultural district. Legal advice and assistance were provided to other divisions of the Department in their administration and enforcement of regulatory and agricultural protection programs within their respective areas of responsibility.
The Division develops the Departmentās budget request for State Operations, Capital Projects, and Aid to Localities funds, and monitors and ensures appropriate expenditure of these funds throughout the fiscal year. In 1999, the Division reviewed Department funding needs for 2000-2001 and prepared and submitted the Departmentās 2000-2001 budget request. The Division prepared funding assignments, expenditure plans and administrative cost allocation proposals for the 1999-2000 fiscal year; and prepared regular expenditure reports for Department program staff and other State agencies. The Division also manages Department contracts and contract payments, in which more than 200 contracts were processed in 1999.
The Division of Information Systems is responsible for supporting computer resources and the majority of computer applications for the Department. During 1999 the efforts of the Division were focused primarily on the repair and upgrade of hardware and software in preparation for the Y2K turnover, and also on the expansion of the agencyās networks and connectivity to the regional offices.
The Division of Internal Audit provides an independent and objective appraisal of Department operations by conducting audits to ensure programs are carried out in the most cost effective manner, resources are properly safeguarded against loss, and financial and operating information is accurate and reliable. The Division also investigates suspected fraud, waste and abuse. During 1999, the Division conducted eight internal audits, reviews, special projects and investigations which included recommendations for improving program efficiency and accountability within the Department.Top
Nathan L. Rudgers
Ruth A. Moore
Paul F. "Rick" Zimmerman
Joan A. Kehoe
Dr. John Huntley
J. Joseph Corby
Rabbi Luzer Weiss