2014-16 Strategic Plan
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services [301]

We promote the economic growth and development of Virginia agriculture, provide consumer protection, and encourage environmental stewardship.

 

We envision the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as a nationally and internationally recognized agricultural development, marketing, consumer protection, animal health, and environmental organization that achieves world class customer service and results for the citizens of the Commonwealth; is a model agency known for the quality leadership of our people and excellence in agency operations; uses strategic planning and management along with partnering with clients to provide the highest quality, innovative services to the Virginia agriculture and agribusiness industry, consumers and all citizens; and promotes the highest standards of competency, ethics, fairness and respect in all aspects of work and employment for department staff in order to attract and retain a highly effective work force.

 

In dealing with customers, commitment to: providing quality professional service in a timely manner; treating customers with courtesy, openness, fairness and equity; soliciting customer input during the development of policies and procedures; and ensuring that programs, policies and procedures effectively meet customer needs.

In dealing with each other, commitment to: valuing agency employees, empowering and supporting them to accomplish agency goals; demonstrating mutual respect; working together as a team; fostering integrity and trust, expecting high standards of performance and practicing quality improvement; ensuring accountability by linking authority with responsibility; enhancing inter-divisional communications; contributing to innovation through participation, recognition and reward.

 
Financial Overview

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' diverse programs are supported by a variety of funding sources including general fund support (52.9 percent), federal grants (14.2 percent), commodity board self-assessments (13.6 percent), commodity grading fees (10.5 percent) and user fees (8.8 percent).

Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium33,176,06329,581,21133,523,11629,581,211
Changes to Initial Appropriation-142,9000-196,0620
(Changes to Initial Appropriation will be 0 when the plan is created. They will change when the plan is updated mid-biennium.)
 
Anticipated Changes to Customer Base
Current Customer List
Predefined GroupUser Defined GroupNumber Served AnnuallyPotential Number of Annual CustomersProjected Customer Trend
Employer/ Business OwnerFood manufacturers2,0432,400Increase
Employer/ Business OwnerFood warehouses740900Stable
Employer/ Business OwnerFrozen dessert plants1617Stable
Employer/ Business OwnerGrade A milk tank truck wash station23Stable
Employer/ Business OwnerHealth spas472600Stable
Employer/ Business OwnerLivestock dealers337407Increase
Employer/ Business OwnerLivestock markets3945Increase
Employer/ Business OwnerManufacturers needing calibrated standards200600Stable
Employer/ Business OwnerMeat Processing/slaughter facilities 179200Increase
Employer/ Business OwnerMembership campgrounds610Stable
Employer/ Business OwnerMilk pickup haulers permitted to weigh and sample milk392392Stable
Employer/ Business OwnerMilk tank truck operators124124Stable
Employer/ Business OwnerPlants processing manufactured grade milk2830Stable
Employer/ Business OwnerRetail food stores9,3999,500Increase
Employer/ Business OwnerRetail frozen dessert shops340360Stable
Employer/ Business OwnerTravel clubs310Stable
Employer/ Business OwnerWeights and measures service agencies425500Stable
Employer/ Business OwnerWeights and measures service technicians1,6002,000Stable
EnergyPetroleum dealers using measuring devices4,8524,852Increase
Environmental Pollution and ControlBusiness licensees2,0002,500Increase
Farm/Forest OwnerFarm and farm related employment400,000400,000Increase
Farm/Forest OwnerLicensed producers1,1091,065Decrease
Farm/Forest OwnerLivestock producers - cattle26,00027,000Stable
Farm/Forest OwnerLivestock producers - equine41,00045,000Stable
Farm/Forest OwnerLivestock producers - goats3,9344,000Stable
Farm/Forest OwnerLivestock producers - poultry5,2836,000Stable
Farm/Forest OwnerLivestock producers - sheep2,1002,300Increase
Farm/Forest OwnerLivestock producers - swine1,0001,200Increase
Farm/Forest OwnerVirginia's farmers47,38347,383Increase
Federal AgencyFederal agencies33Stable
GovernorGovernor's Office11Stable
Health ProfessionsVeterinary practices9901,027Increase
Health ProfessionsVeterinary practitioners2,7812,899Increase
Local or Regional Government AuthoritiesGovernment agencies needing calibrated standards100200Stable
Local or Regional Government AuthoritiesLocal animal control agencies216216Stable
Local or Regional Government AuthoritiesLocal governments, economic development entities, other state agencies100500Increase
Local or Regional Government AuthoritiesMunicipal pounds and private shelter entities146160Increase
Local or Regional Government AuthoritiesLocal governments100100Stable
ManufacturingAgriculture and forestry processing/value added facilities using Virginia grown products1001,000Increase
Non-Profit Agency (Boards/Foundations),Charitable organizations17,14825,000Increase
Non-Profit Agency (Boards/Foundations),Commodity Boards1515Stable
Non-Profit Agency (Boards/Foundations),Institutions124136Stable
Non-Profit Agency (Boards/Foundations),Permitted organizations414414Decrease
Non-Profit Agency (Boards/Foundations),Public school dstricts132132Stable
Non-Profit Agency (Boards/Foundations),Regional food banks66Stable
Non-Profit Agency (Boards/Foundations),State or private schools6897Decrease
Non-Profit Agency (Boards/Foundations),Summer camps and summer feeding programs132132Stable
OrganizationAgribusiness companies100125Stable
OrganizationLand conservation organizations250500Stable
StudentVirginia school children1,234,4001,700,000Increase
VolunteerHome-based animal rescue organizations200300Increase
Wholesale/Retail TradeBusinesses selling retail packaged commodities4,60010,000Increase
Wholesale/Retail TradeBusinesses using weighing devices and scanners10,00025,000Increase
Wholesale/Retail TradeLicensed manufactures of electronic pull-tab systems510Increase
Wholesale/Retail TradeLicensed processors and distributors179180Decrease
Wholesale/Retail TradeLicensed suppliers of charitable gaming supplies2222Stable
Agriculture and FoodAg/forest product exporters100150Increase
Agriculture and FoodAgricultural producers47,60447,604Stable
Agriculture and FoodBeekeepers100800Increase
Agriculture and FoodCotton growers400750Decrease
Agriculture and FoodDairy farms 689689Decrease
Agriculture and FoodDirect marketers7001,700Stable
Agriculture and FoodExport shipping agents1010Stable
Agriculture and FoodFruit and vegetable growers500500Stable
Agriculture and FoodFruit packers100100Stable
Agriculture and FoodGinseng growers/dealers8,00010,000Increase
Agriculture and FoodGrain dealers107107Stable
Agriculture and FoodGrain handlers125125Stable
Agriculture and FoodLicensed agricultural businesses1,4001,400Stable
Agriculture and FoodLivestock auction markets2727Stable
Agriculture and FoodNursery dealers (retailers)3501,700Increase
Agriculture and FoodNursery dealers (retailers) and nursery growers (wholesalers)7252,075Increase
Agriculture and FoodNursery Growers (Wholesalers)375375Stable
Agriculture and FoodPotato and vegetable packinghouses1717Stable
Agriculture and FoodPoultry plants68Stable
Agriculture and FoodProcessed food companies400900Increase
Agriculture and FoodProduce warehouses3939Stable
Agriculture and FoodRetail chain stores400929Increase
Agriculture and FoodRetail farmers markets215227Increase
Agriculture and FoodSeed producers500500Stable
Agriculture and FoodShell egg plants13Stable
Agriculture and FoodVineyards100320Increase
Agriculture and FoodVirginia farmers47,38347,383Increase
Agriculture and FoodVirginia grain producers3,0003,000Stable
Business and FinanceCredit services businesses210Stable
Business and FinanceExtended service contracts170250Stable
ConsumerCitizens filing complaints600750Increase
ConsumerCitizens of Virginia7,100,0008,000,000Increase
ConsumerClients served by charitable and correctional institutions40,80846,247Increase
ConsumerConsumers obtaining information20,00020,000Increase
ConsumerHouseholds915,6081,011,608Increase
ConsumerPrint and broadcast media100130Stable
ConsumerSchools, food pantries, public hospitals, and soup kitchens9291,845Increase
EmployeeCertified pesticide applicators20,00025,000
EmployeeEmployees working in meat processing/slaughter facilities1,8001,900Stable
EmployeeLegal services plan sellers6,0007,500Stable
Employer/ Business OwnerAgricultural brokers4343Stable
Employer/ Business OwnerContract milk haulers2121Stable
Employer/ Business OwnerCooperative associations representing licensed producers77Stable
Employer/ Business OwnerDairy plant samplers105105Stable
Agriculture and FoodLivestock producers, dealers, markets80,10981,867Stable
Wholesale/Retail TradePetroleum dealers using measuring devices4,8524,852Increase
Wholesale/Retail TradeRetail food stores, markets, and shops9,3999,500Increase
Non-Profit Agency (Boards/Foundations),Permitted charitable gaming organizations555605Stable
 
NameDescription
Department of General Services
Marine Resources Commission
Internal Agency PartnersOther programs and staff throughout the agency.
Local and State Economic Developers/OfficesLocal agricultural economic development officers, Virginia Economic Development Partnership
Department of Conservation and RecreationThe organizations here are listed in the Commonwealth of Virginia Emergency Operations Plan as support agencies for Emergency Support Function 11, Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Department of Corrections
Department of Environmental Quality
Department of Forestry
Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
Department of Health
Department of Social Services
Department of Transportation
Department of Virginia State Police
USDAUnited States Department of Agriculture
Virginia Agribusiness CouncilOrganization representing agriculture and forest related businesses.
Virginia Cooperative ExtensionTechnical assistance providers for farmers.
Virginia Farm Bureau FederationOrganization representing farmers.
Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters
Virginia's Land Grant UniversitiesUniversities providing production research.
 
• Enhance opportunities for the growth, profitability, diversity and continued viability of the Virginia agriculture industry.
Summary and Alignment

Promoting the growth, profitability, diversity and continued viability of Virginia’s agriculture industry provides opportunities for business advancement and economic development. Increasing the profitability of Virginia agriculture also provides an opportunity to protect and conserve our natural resources.

Associated State Goal
Economy: Be a national leader in the preservation and enhancement of our economy.
Associated Societal Indicator
Business Climate
Objectives
» Increase the value of Virginia’s agricultural and forestry products in the international marketplace through marketing services provided to producers and processors.
Description
Provide services and administer marketing offices to expand international marketing of Virginia's agricultural and forestry products.

Objective Strategies
• Create and implement market development activities for a three-pronged approach to international markets: emerging, mature and unconventional. Activities will include hosting reverse trade missions that generate new export sales, participating in trade shows, and conducting buyer missions in emerging markets.

• Each overseas representative office will successfully introduce new products that result in repeat export sales. The product need only be new to that market from Virginia or from a Virginia exporter that has never sold into that market.

• Coordinate export promotional activities with the Virginia Marine Products Board primarily though Southern United States Trade Association funded activities, including participation in the Boston Seafood Show (International Show). All of the agency's overseas offices and representatives will assist with seafood promotional activities, including arranging buyers with the Virginia Marine Products Board and conducting overseas trade missions and exhibits.

• Use United States Department of Agriculture Cooperator funding to enhance international market development goals.

• Administer contracts with overseas agency representatives.

» Attract new and support the expansion of existing agriculture and forestry processing/value-added facilities using Virginia-grown products.
Description
Implementation of the Governor's Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund.

Objective Strategies
• Continue outreach of Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund to localities, economic development allies and potential business beneficiaries.

• Administer Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund grants/projects within established policies and procedures including summaries, return on investment calculations, and reporting requirements.

• Administer Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund Planning Grant program, in consultation with the Agency/Secretariat Review Committee, and establish documentation and audit procedures to ensure program’s compliance with statutory and administrative requirements.

» Increase the value of Virginia agricultural products through official grading and inspection by the agency.
Description

Grading and inspection services increase the value of agricultural products and encourage a healthy marketplace by ensuring that quality standards are met.


Objective Strategies
• Provide audit services and training, related to the United States Department of Agriculture audit matrix, to Virginia’s agriculture industry.

• Meet clients’ requests for services by maintaining management and certified technical staff in five comprehensive commodity inspection programs (Poultry and Egg, Grain, Fruit and Vegetable, Peanut and Livestock).

• Provide continued education to producers, 4-H, and Future Farmers of America members regarding United States Department of Agriculture quality grades and their relationship to market and industry trends and demands.

• Assist in the development of exhibit material and participate in industry trade shows, conferences and field days.

» Enhance the viability of Virginia agriculture by maintaining consistent market news programs to obtain current agricultural price information and market trends.
Description

Provides unbiased reliable information and market analysis on agricultural prices and market trends.


Objective Strategies
• Collect, analyze, and disseminate marketing information on livestock, grain, poultry, fruit, vegetables, peanuts, cotton, oilseeds, and hay using network reporting systems: internet, print, and broadcast media.

• Maintain United States Department of Agriculture certification and training of Livestock staff to collect and analyze livestock market information.

» Improve the operations of individual commodity boards and expand multi-commodity marketing promotions.
Description

Assist commodity industry producers in seeking methods to better manage operations and risks, and ensure compliance with state regulations. Coordinate, integrate and target state and national commodity board programs in order to strengthen commodity marketing, research and education successes.


Objective Strategies
• Maintain and enhance working relationships with Virginia commodity boards to include multi-commodity promotions.

• Provide marketing and administrative support to 15 agricultural commodity boards to assist in accomplishing their programs, promotion, education and research.

» Enhance the economic viability of agriculture and forestry products through the movement of products in the interstate and international marketplace.
Description

The successful export of Virginia agricultural and forestry products is dependent upon expedient and effective inspections and the timely issuance of Phytosanitary Certificates.


Objective Strategies
• Process phytosanitary certificates using United States Department of Agriculture’s electronic Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance and Tracking system.

» Provide marketing services to Virginia’s agricultural and forestry producers and processors that will increase their products’ value in the domestic marketplace.
Description

Effective marketing programs will maintain and expand current markets for Virginia food, agricultural and forestry products in the domestic marketplace.


Objective Strategies
• Monitor, search and apply for additional grant funding primarily through United States Department of Agriculture programs, e.g., Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program, Specialty Crop Block Grant, Foreign Agricultural Service Cooperators, and others as announced.

• Develop, submit and implement projects for United States Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program as notifications are published.

• Continue to expand and enhance the agency's Marketing website to increase traffic and offer a more user-friendly format for all clients.

• Provide oversight on the policy and operation as well as marketing assistance for shipping point markets in the Virginia Farmers’ Market System.

• Continue and strengthen cooperation with Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation and the Farm Service Agency/Virginia to expand the array and outreach of education programs.

• Create and implement market development activities that will increase usage of locally-produced farm products by restaurants to include tours for restaurant owners, operators, and chefs.

• Expand and enhance the growth and development of Virginia’s agritourism enterprises and initiatives through workshops, conferences, and one-on-one counseling.

• Expand and enhance the growth and development of retail farmers' markets in Virginia by maintaining and updating the operational manual for vendor farmers.

• Increase producer exposure to marketing options including cooperative marketing, organics, and farmers markets that have the potential of enhancing farm viability.

• Increase awareness of the quality and diversity of Virginia agricultural products through promotional activities, publicity, tradeshow participation and special events. This will include participating in consumer-related events under the Virginia Grown and Virginia’s Finest umbrella.

• Conduct trade calls and production area tours with prospective buyers, wholesalers, brokers and grocery chains, as well as respond to requests for marketing assistance from Virginia producers of food, agricultural and forestry products.

• Partner with appropriate state agencies (Department for the Aging and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Social Services and Department of Health) to expand federal food aid programs with retail farmers' markets through the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/Electronic Benefit Transfer.

• Provide continued assistance and management of the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association Beautiful Gardens plant introduction program for the purpose of providing Virginia producers with increased opportunities for the production and sale of plants grown in Virginia.

• Provide staff leadership and direction to the Farm-to-School program enhancing opportunities for Virginia grown and processed foods to be sold through schools and other educational institutions.

• Develop new contacts and maintain current customer contacts with cattle feedlot operators and buyers in Midwestern and Northern states and assure their continued level of information and participation in Virginia’s special graded feeder cattle livestock auctions.

• Increase small livestock producers’ exposure to and participation in cooperative marketing options by assisting new and existing local livestock marketing groups.

• Provide assistance to cattle producers and groups by targeting and expanding the growth and development of customized feeder cattle sales such as “Breed Influence," “Natural," “Health Program," and “Back Grounded” feeder cattle sales.

• Expand and improve electronic marketing and promotional opportunities for Virginia livestock by utilizing tools such as Tel-O-Auction and the Internet.

• Increase producer awareness of the meat industry through the Carcass Educational Seminars, buyer tours, feedlot data dissemination to buyers, trade show participation, and special events.

• Provide services that facilitate interstate and international movement of livestock and poultry such as monitoring and approving certificates of veterinary inspection and providing technical assistance to accredited veterinarians.

• Provide an outreach program to assist prospective and existing meat and poultry operations by providing technical information and continuing education.

» Distribute all United States Department of Agriculture donated food to eligible recipient agencies in order to maximize the nutritional benefits for Virginia citizens.
Description

Provides for improved nutritional health and well being of the Commonwealth's school children; improved food security and nutrition assistance to needy citizens and economic benefits to agricultural producers, processors and distributors.


Objective Strategies
• Maintain working relationships with commercial distributors to enhance food distribution programs.

• Make trade calls to schools and institutions to increase the use of Virginia food products.

• Offer, allocate and distribute USDA-donated foods to eligible recipient agencies in order to enhance sales of Virginia products.

• Provide consistent support for expanding United States Department of Agriculture/Department of Defense Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program with public schools.

» Increase the level of capital investment in agribusiness.
Description
Agribusiness development services.

Objective Strategies
• Market and promote Virginia as an exceptional site for development of agricultural business so as to support 20 companies in their decisions to locate, expand, or remain in the state over the biennium.

• Target for special development efforts those specific sectors of Virginia agriculture that show the best prospects for investment and employment growth.

• Target the tobacco producing areas as a priority for agribusiness development initiatives through the referral of three leads over the biennium.

• Target two specific commodity based sectors that are competitively challenged as a priority for value-added or high-value added initiatives over the biennium.

» Increase the amount of permanently preserved working farms and forest land in Virginia.
Description

Assistance with the development of local farmland preservation programs and allocation of state purchase of development rights matching funds.


Objective Strategies
• Provide technical assistance to localities through the Office of Farmland Preservation in the development and implementation of farmland preservation programs and activities.

• Support the development of three additional (for a total of 25) local purchase of development rights programs.

• Allocate state matching funds to local purchase of development rights programs and explore alternative methods for allocating state matching Purchase of Development Rights funds more effectively.

• Conduct comprehensive outreach programs to educate farmers, Virginia Century Farm families, and the general public about farmland preservation options and tools.

• Coordinate efforts with allied organizations and agencies involved in land conservation.

• Explore ways to utilize the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill.

» Increase the number of successful farm transitions from exiting farmers to beginning and active farmers.
Description

Assistance with the development and delivery of farm transition efforts.


Objective Strategies
• Enlist the assistance of allied organizations/programs (such as Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Outdoors Foundation and the Virginia Century Farm program) to recruit viable farmers/land owners to the Virginia Farm Link database.

• Add new functions to the Virginia Farm Link database and the Certified Farm Seeker program to better facilitate farm transitions.

• Increase the number of certified farm seekers from 10 to 65 through Memorandum of Agreement with Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.

• Fund, develop and deliver additional farm link workshops with Virginia Farm Bureau Federation and Virginia Cooperative Extension.

• Enhance public health by ensuring the food supply is safe and wholesome.
Summary and Alignment

An integrated system of food safety inspection and testing is implemented to ensure that Virginia continues to have high food safety standards. These standards enable the public to enjoy quality, safe and wholesome food that enhances the well being of Virginia citizens, the environment and the economy. This goal aligns with the Council on Virginia's Future goals on health and family and public safety.

Associated State Goal
Health & Family: Inspire and support Virginians toward healthy lives and strong and resilient families.
Objectives
» Protect and enhance the safety of the milk supply for citizens of the Commonwealth.
Description

Inspect each Grade "A" dairy farm and each manufactured grade dairy farm a minimum of once each six months.  Collect and test milk samples for each Grade "A" dairy farm and each manufactured dairy farm a minimum of four times in each six month period.  Evaluate each milk hauler weighing and sampling milk at least every two years.  Inspect every milk pick-up and milk transport tank once each year.  Inspect each milk and dairy processing plant and frozen dessert plant at least once each three months.  Inspect each retail dip shop and mobile unit at least once each six months. 


Objective Strategies
• Evaluate a minimum of 80 percent of permitted milk haulers/samplers once every two years to comply with interstate milk requirements.

• Complete the process to amend the regulations governing Grade A milk by adopting the requirements contained in the 2013 Pasteurized Milk Ordinance by June 30, 2015.

• Inspect a minimum of 80 percent of permitted milk tank trucks each year to comply with Interstate Milk Shippers' requirements.

• Monitor dairy field activities to ensure that inspections, sampling, investigations, and educational efforts are structured to ensure that industry needs are addressed and public health is optimized.

» Enhance food safety and security programs for citizens of the Commonwealth.
Description

Inspect food manufacturing, processing, storage and sales facilities for general sanitary conditions and practices and compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Investigate consumer complaints relating to sanitation of food establishments and food products suspected of being adulterated or having caused food-borne illness. Evaluate food manufacturing, processing, storage and sales facilities to determine adequacy of food security focus and plans. Evaluate dietary supplements offered for sale in food establishments for safety, appropriate claims, and proper labeling. Collect food samples during inspections and visits for adulterants as well as proper labeling.


Objective Strategies
• Monitor food safety field activities to ensure that inspections, sampling, investigations, and educational efforts are structured to ensure that industry needs are addressed and public health is optimized.

• Maintain a food protection rapid response team that encompasses both the food and feed protection programs with the expertise and training to investigate foodborne illness outbreaks and other food and feed hazards or emergencies.

• Participate with the State Food Safety Task Force to enhance food safety and food defense.

• Complete the design, development and implementation of Phase II of the new database and inspection software system by June 30, 2015.

» Ensure the continued supply of safe, wholesome, unadulterated, properly labeled and humanely processed meat and poultry products for Virginia consumers.
Description

To ensure the continued supply of safe, wholesome, unadulterated and properly labeled meat and poultry products for Virginia consumers by inspecting and providing technical expertise and advice to Virginia's Talmadge-Aiken plants, state inspected plants, and custom plants to maintain Virginia's "equal to" inspection program.


Objective Strategies
• Provide information on Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, foreign animal disease, and sanitation requirements to approximately 133 custom exempt establishments in Virginia.

• Evaluate humane handling practices and provide assistance in meeting the standards in all Talmadge-Aiken, state and custom exempt slaughter facilities.

• Continue to develop and use management control system to assess and verify performance of the inspection program. Management control system, a federal requirement based on the Performance Based Information System, will have to be adapted to the Public Health Information System.

» Strengthen food safety and food defense programs for citizens of the Commonwealth and promote uniformity with nationwide retail food regulatory programs.
Description

In an attempt to provide greater consistency among its state counterparts, the United States Food and Drug Administration is recommending that state based food regulatory programs adopt uniform standards that provide a unified regulatory foundation (Food Code) as well as provide inspection and investigation protocols designed to mitigate food borne illness risk factors.


Objective Strategies
• Complete the process necessary to adopt the 2013 Food and Drug Administration Food Code by June 30, 2015.

• Provide agricultural and consumer protection services that support economic growth, meet consumer needs and encourage environmental stewardship.
Summary and Alignment

By providing agricultural and consumer protection services that support economic growth, meet consumer needs and encourage environmental stewardship, the department promotes a balanced and reasonable approach to regulations, which protects the public’s interest and supports economic growth.

Associated State Goal
Economy: Be a national leader in the preservation and enhancement of our economy.
Associated Societal Indicator
Business Climate
Objectives
» Provide assistance to the Commissioner in administering the Agricultural Stewardship Act and in responding to requests for assistance and technical advice on other water quality issues.
Description
Providing assistance to the Commissioner in administering the Agricultural Stewardship Act through on-site inspections and technical assistance on water quality issues related to agricultural activities.

Objective Strategies
• Process Agricultural Stewardship Act complaints, ensuring that they are handled expeditiously and efficiently and in accordance with the Commissioner’s direction and state law.

• Increase the awareness of environmental stewardship among agricultural producers, local officials, and landowners by coordinating and participating in outreach efforts with federal, state, and local agencies.

• Represent the agency in working with federal and state agencies and industry stakeholders in addressing water quality issues related to the Chesapeake Bay and agriculture.

» Promote the economic viability of Virginia’s agricultural and horticultural industries and resources and protect Virginia’s endangered and threatened plant and insect populations through inspections, certifications and compliance monitoring activities.
Description

The successful export of Virginia agricultural and forestry products is dependent upon expedient and effective inspections, and the timely issuance of Phytosanitary Certificates.


Objective Strategies
• Provide timely disease detection, accurate diagnosis, and effective disease control recommendations for the nursery industry.

• Provide timely detection, control and eradication services to prevent the introduction or slow the spread of exotic harmful plant pest species and noxious weeds.

• Pursue external funding for and collaborate on recovery and conservation projects for endangered and threatened plant and insect species.

• Provide timely inspections and certifications to support sustainable populations of Virginia grown ginseng.

• Promote healthy beehives and encourage wider use of pollinators by conducting inspections and educational site visits and through the administration of the Beehive Grant Program.

» Support agriculture and provide consumer and environmental protection by seeking to ensure compliance with agricultural commodity laws and regulations.
Description

This service area inspects manufacturers and producers of agricultural commodities to ensure compliance with good manufacturing practices. This service area also samples and analyzes agricultural products for compliance with established standards and truth in labeling requirements.


Objective Strategies
• Provide timely registration and inspection services for animal feed, animal remedies, fertilizer, and liming materials.

• Continue priority response to consumer complaints.

• Meet the contractual obligation with the United States Food and Drug Administration for the number of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy surveillance inspections.

• Provide timely inspections of animal feed manufacturing facilities.

• Provide timely review and processing of applications submitted under the Certified Fertilizer Applicator program.

» Provide effective consumer protection services through the timely registration of regulated entities and the thorough investigation of related complaints.
Description

Consumer spending is the primary driver of the economy. As such, it is of critical importance to ensure that complaints between regulated entities and consumers are resolved promptly and effectively in order to reduce the incidence of fraud, deception, and illegal practices in the marketplace.


Objective Strategies
• Continue priority response to consumer complaints.

• Provide timely registration of industries regulated by the program.

» Protect the integrity and competitiveness of the Virginia grain industry through compliance with Virginia Grain Laws.
Description

The integrity and competitiveness of the Virginia grain industry will be maintained by monitoring for compliance with Virginia Grain Laws.


Objective Strategies
• Visit all Virginia grain handlers and dealers annually to ensure compliance of testing equipment and sampling procedures and results.

• Initiate within twenty-four hours all investigations on complaints from producers claiming nonpayment, fraud, deceit or negligence of a grain dealer or handler.

• Provide marketing and technical assistance to grain producers on an ongoing basis and provide information on current grain market quality demands.

• Review license applications of grain dealers to ensure their license renewal by December 31 of each year.

• Assist with the development of exhibit materials and participate in trade shows, conferences and field days.

» Strengthen compliance with Virginia’s Comprehensive Animal Care Laws and promote humane care and treatment of animals.
Description

Strengthen compliance with Virginia’s Comprehensive Animal Care Laws, prevent cruelty to animals and promote humane care and treatment of animals by conducting at least one inspection of each of the public animal shelter facilities, monitoring Animal Control Officer training standards and providing local jurisdictions assistance in investigations concerning commercial dog breeding and animal fighting.


Objective Strategies
• Serve as a technical resource for local governments and other public and private partners in support of enforcement of the Comprehensive Animal Care Laws and related local ordinances.

• Facilitate compliance with Virginia’s Comprehensive Animal Care Laws and regulations in public and private animal shelters by inspection, consultation, and enforcement actions and by provision of humane animal euthanasia training.

• Cooperate with criminal justice academies and other animal control officer training providers to facilitate the development, availability and approval of basic and continuing training courses for Animal Control Officers.

• Work closely with localities to ensure data entry of dangerous dogs into the Virginia Dangerous Dog Registry.

• Convene stakeholder groups to develop recommendations for potential enhancements or revisions to the Comprehensive Animal Care Laws and pursuant regulations, programs, and initiatives.

» Protect and enhance the economic viability of Virginia's animal agriculture industries by providing accurate, timely and accountable testing services for diseases of economic and public health significance.
Description

The mission of the Animal Health Laboratory System is to provide quality diagnostic and regulatory testing of specimens from animals, raw foods and limited environmental origin to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia in a timely manner and at a reasonable cost. These testing services provide assistance to producers, regulatory offices, and private veterinarians in diagnosing disease problems, are a vital link in the monitoring and surveillance for both animal and human diseases of regulatory concern (e.g. Brucellosis, Tuberculosis, Salmonella, E. coli), and provide certification of animals and their products necessary for interstate and international export.


Objective Strategies
• Add at least two new testing services each year.

• Research, and evaluate quality management software to aid in the documentation and continued establishment of a statewide quality management system for regional health animal laboratories.

• Expand the scope of OIE/ISO 17025 accreditation to include tests at all five regional health animal laboratories.

• Maintain National Animal Health Laboratory Network certification for the Harrisonburg Regional Animal Health Laboratory.

• Research and evaluate a process to electronically link automated laboratory equipment and the Laboratory Information Management System in each regional animal health laboratory.

• Operate the five regional animal health laboratories.

• Conduct at least one outreach event for producers and laboratory users per year at each regional animal health laboratory.

» Promote the integrity of charitable gaming activities.
Description

This service area provides permitting functions for non-profit organizations that wish to conduct bingo games and raffles in the Commonwealth.  The service area also registers bingo managers, bingo callers, and manufacturers and vendors of charitable gaming equipment and supplies.  The service area conducts inspections of gaming venues, audits financial records, and investigates player complaints and suspected fraud.


Objective Strategies
• Conduct an audit or financial review of all permitted charitable gaming organizations once every three years.

• Conduct an annual compliance review of all permitted suppliers and manufacturers of distributed pull-tab systems.

• Provide for timely and accurate processing of all permit and registration applications received by the program.

• Conduct semi-annual inspections of the gaming operations of all charitable gaming organizations permitted to conduct bingo.

• Continue priority response to consumer complaints.

» Maintain a system that supports an orderly state milk market to promote the production of a supply of competitively priced fluid milk that satisfies Virginia consumer demand.
Description

The provision of an adequate and constant supply of fluid milk products, a vital and healthy food source, to the citizens of the Commonwealth promotes public welfare and health.


Objective Strategies
• Communicate with producers/cooperatives and processors any audit findings requiring a financial adjustment and follow-up to ensure that audit adjustments are made. All completed audits will have findings communicated within 20 working days.

• Establish an adequate monthly supply of base milk production to processors to meet their processing requirements for fluid milk product sales in Virginia markets.

• Establish and communicate advanced monthly Virginia class producer prices by regulatory due dates to enable producers to make business decisions.

• Provide producers/cooperative associations and processors with requisite calculations of values of class utilization of producer deliveries by regulatory due dates in order to ensure timely billings and payments.

» Enhance the protection of human health and the environment by promoting and seeking to ensure compliance with applicable pesticide laws and regulations.
Description

Enhance the protection of human health and the environment by promoting and seeking to ensure compliance with Virginia pesticide laws and regulations. The proper use of pesticides is essential to elimination or containment of pests that could cause disease and economic damage. Because of their inherent toxicity, pesticides must be handled in accordance with specific instructions that are printed on the labels and which must be observed. Non-compliance with applicable laws or label instructions could result in serious public and environmental health dangers, hence the need to continually strive to increase compliance.


Objective Strategies
• Collaborate with Virginia Cooperative Extension to ensure that pesticide applicator training manuals and certification examinations reflect current federal and state requirements.

• Continue to coordinate the pesticide disposal and pesticide container recycling programs.

• Continue to provide outreach to Virginians regarding the safe use of pesticides.

• Continue to provide priority response to complaints by initiating contact with complainant within 24 hours of receipt of complaint.

• Provide timely certification of pesticide applicators.

• Provide timely licensing of pesticide businesses.

• Inspect licensed pesticide businesses in accordance with a neutral-based inspection plan.

» Ensure pesticide products offered for sale meet all applicable federal and state laws and regulations.
Description

Pesticides enable Virginia growers to produce agricultural products economically and to price them competitively.  Staff will seek to ensure that the approval process for new pesticides is timely and that said pesticides are used in a safe manner. 


Objective Strategies
• Conduct timely review and processing of (i) registrations for all applicable pesticide products, (ii) Federal insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Section 24(c) requests for Special Local Need pesticide product registrations, (iii) Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Section 18 requests for pesticide product emergency exemptions, and (iv) requests for pesticide product Experimental Use Permits.

» Protect and enhance Virginia’s crop industries through the efficient and effective operation of the agency's Seed Laboratory.
Description

Perform analytical seed testing in support of mandated regulatory compliance activities, as well as independent testing services conducted for seed producers in Virginia.


Objective Strategies
• Provide timely and accurate analysis of all seed samples submitted to the agency's Seed Laboratory.

» Protect and enhance the economic viability of Virginia’s animal agriculture industries through the prevention and management of foreign and emerging livestock and poultry diseases of economic and public health significance.
Description

Protect and promote Virginia's animal agriculture industries by conducting livestock market and sales inspections; reviewing and issuing animal health certificates; conducting investigations and tracebacks; issuing quarantines and eradication notices; maintaining Virginia's Tuberculosis, Brucellosis and Pseudorabies free status; and enforcing livestock and poultry regulations and entry requirements on a continuous basis. 


Objective Strategies
• Train, certify or recertify staff through United States Department of Agriculture or other courses on Brucellosis, Tuberculosis, Pseudorabies, Scrapie, Avian Influenza, Foreign Animal Diseases, the Live Bird Marketing System, and Animal Disease Traceability as these courses and funding are made available.

• Coordinate with the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries on diseases of mutual concern in support of the “One Health” Initiative, in which it is recognized that many diseases affect both animals and humans.

• Continue training and information exchange for regional veterinary supervisors and selected staff by conducting quarterly regional meetings.

• Work to educate cattle, goat and sheep producers on the need for and the benefit of participation in the Virginia Voluntary Johne’s Disease Control and Prevention Program.

• Support the livestock industry by inspecting, monitoring, auditing and disinfecting livestock markets; assisting with animal disease traceability through the provision of official identification devices and data collection equipment; monitoring livestock dealers, records and registrations; maintaining the Cattle Brand Registration program; monitoring for humane handling of livestock at livestock markets; and ensuring compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations.

• Work to ensure compliance with state and federal laws and regulations pertaining to animal movement, animal transport, and disease control by inspecting or monitoring equine events, county and state fairs, shows, exhibitions, sales and other animal gatherings to the extent allowed by resources.

• Coordinate efforts with state agencies and localities to enhance compliance with regulations pertaining to interstate movement of animals.

• Participate in all state and federal programs and ensure compliance with all federal and state laws and regulations to maintain Virginia’s United States Department of Agriculture designated Tuberculosis-free, Brucellosis-free and Pseudorabies-free status.

• Support Virginia’s poultry industry and reduce the potential for highly contagious poultry diseases by monitoring, testing and auditing the commercial and non-commercial poultry flocks in the state; participating in the National Poultry Improvement Plan; issuing importation approval numbers and monitoring the importation of hatching eggs and poultry into the state; and inspecting feed and farm stores for the presence and sale of poultry.

• Work to prevent the incursion of Contagious Equine Metritis by inspecting quarantine facilities, monitoring testing for the causative organism, and monitoring quarantines placed on horses imported into Virginia from countries known to have Contagious Equine Metritis.

• Promote programs and work to ensure compliance with federal and state laws and regulations that help control diseases of economic concern to Virginia’s animal agriculture such as Scrapie, Johne’s Disease, Neurological Equine Herpes Virus-1, Equine Infectious Anemia, Avian Influenza, Pullorum, and other infectious or contagious diseases as they may occur.

• Monitor all Certificates of Veterinary Inspection; conduct investigations into violations of state import regulations; and monitor, approve and conduct investigations into violations of the issuance of Certificates of Veterinary Inspection.

• Conduct the orientation training for private practitioners to be approved to perform United States Department of Agriculture accredited duties in Virginia including regulatory animal disease testing and to issue Certificates of Veterinary Inspection.

• Work to facilitate private practice veterinarians to provide services such as the provision of Certificates of Veterinary Inspection at livestock markets and consignment sales.

• Conduct animal health and drug residue violation investigations as authorized by state and federal laws and regulations.

• Approve and monitor the use of veterinary biologicals and veterinary vaccines in Virginia.

• Work with Information Systems to research and evaluate an electronic system for animal importation.

• Initiate the Secure Milk Supply Program for interested producers, haulers, and processing plants, which is a continuity of business plan that will allow participants to ship non-infected raw milk to processing plants within disease management areas in the event of a foreign animal disease.

» Ensure that quality motor fuel products are available to the public.
Description

The inspection and testing program is designed to protect the consumer and end user of petroleum products against inferior quality products from entering the market.


Objective Strategies
• Continue priority response to consumer complaints.

• Provide timely registration of motor fuel products.

• Conduct systematic sampling and analysis of motor fuel products offered for sale to the public.

» Promote equity and consumer confidence in the marketplace through periodic calibration, testing, and inspection of weighing and measuring devices.
Description

Staff conducts inspections statewide involving devices used in industrial weighing, packaging and direct sales transactions. Periodic testing activities involve the inspection of petroleum dispensers, fuel oil trucks, retail computing scales, vehicle scales, livestock weighing scales, and others.


Objective Strategies
• Collaborate with service agencies to ensure service agency technicians comply with applicable statutes and regulations.

• Continue priority response to consumer complaints.

• Ensure that the Metrology Laboratory maintains accreditation by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program.

• Ensure that service agencies submit their weighing and measuring standards to the agency's Metrology Laboratory for verification and calibration in accordance with the schedule established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

• Inspect weighing and measuring devices in accordance with an inspection strategy that is based on device type and available resources.

• Provide timely registration of service agencies and service agency technicians.

• Enhance Agency services and productivity through efficient work process and procedures, technology, e-government applications, and training.
Summary and Alignment

Through the integration and maintenance of new technology and e-government applications, streamlined work processes and procedures, and training, the department is able to operate more efficiently and enhance service levels both internally and externally, while making the most prudent use of tax dollars.

Associated State Goal
Government and Citizens: Be recognized as the best-managed state in the nation.
Associated Societal Indicator
Government Operations
Objectives
No objectives currently linked to this agency goal
• Enhance Virginia's ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from agricultural infestations, animal disease events, foodborne illness outbreaks and other natural and man made disasters.
Summary and Alignment

By instituting measures that improve our emergency response capacity, the department is able to help minimize the impact to citizens and reduce economic losses to Virginia businesses. Providing services that help to protect public safety and security will improve the quality of life for all Virginians. This goal aligns with the public safety and economic goals of the Council on Virginia’s Future.

Associated State Goal
Public Safety: Protect the public’s safety and security, ensuring a fair and effective system of justice and providing a prepared response to emergencies and disasters of all kinds.
Associated Societal Indicator
Emergency Preparedness
Objectives
» Facilitate the prevention and management of foreign and emerging livestock and poultry diseases of economic and public health significance.
Description

Prevent and manage foreign and emerging livestock and poultry diseases by being proactive, as well as maintaining ongoing activities to assure that animal diseases are not introduced into the Commonwealth that could have a negative economic impact. Plans must be in place to minimize the economic impact of an introduced disease or natural disasters that may occur.


Objective Strategies
• Continue to work with various sectors in the livestock industry to develop and implement an effective animal disease traceability program in Virginia, contingent on funding for such a program.

• Continue to review and improve the Highly Contagious Livestock and Poultry Disease Emergency Operations Plan and the Avian Influenza Rapid Response Plan and to exercise strategic portions of the plans, contingent on available personnel.

• Continue work to revise the regulations for livestock markets and livestock dealers to ensure effective animal disease traceability.

• Continue to examine animals with pathologic conditions found at inspected slaughter plants so that reportable diseases can be identified.

• Ensure that staff veterinarians are trained through the United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostician Course and related continuing education courses as available.

• Participate in the Virginia Poultry Disease Task Force, the Delmarva Poultry Industry Emergency Disease Task Force and seek to maintain a strong working relationship with poultry producers throughout Virginia.

» Act in the interest of the citizens of the Commonwealth and its infrastructure during emergency situations.
Description

It is critically important that staff be prepared to carry out assigned emergency responsibilities. Training and exercises enhance staff's ability to execute emergency response plans.


Objective Strategies
• Emergency Policies and Procedures and the Continuity of Operations Plan will be reviewed/updated annually and State Wide Alert Network semi-annually.

• Conduct a training session, a test or an exercise of a component of the Continuity of Operations Plan at least once annually.

• Coordinate with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virginia Department of Social Services, and other partners to meet the needs of individuals with household pets or service animals during a disaster.

• Coordinate with stakeholders to encourage the development of local animal emergency response capabilities.

» Provide timely response to plant health emergencies.
Description

This service area, in conjunction with other state and federal agencies, effectively works to mitigate the impact of plant health emergencies that result from the natural, accidental or intentional introduction of plant pests or diseases that would have an adverse impact on Virginia's agricultural, horticultural, and forest communities.


Objective Strategies
• The Office of Plant Industry Services will maintain the Plant Pest Emergency Response Plan.

• The Office of Plant Industry Services will pursue external funding that will enhance its ability to respond to plant health emergencies.

 

VDACS products and services fall within six categories:

Promoting Virginia Agriculture – Agricultural marketing and promotion (domestic and international), agricultural business development and growth, farmland preservation and fostering the next generation of farmers, and assisting commodity boards.

Assuring food safety and quality – Inspection of meat, poultry, food and dairy operations to protect public health and ensure consumer confidence.

Assuring animal health and care – Protecting the economic viability of livestock and poultry industries, disease control and surveillance, animal health diagnostic laboratories, evaluation of shelters, training of animal care organizations, animal medication and remedies regulation, and commercial animal feed regulation.

Assuring crop and plant health and productivity – Inspection and prevention of the spread of plant pests and diseases in nursery stock and crops, fertilizer and soil products regulation, seed and plant propagation inspection and regulation, and apiary inspection and regulation.

Protecting public health and Virginia’s environment – Pesticide use and storage, endangered plant and insect protection, agricultural stewardship and food safety.

Ensuring fair trade practices in commerce – motor fuels labeling and preventing adulteration, weights and measures regulation, commodity grading and standards, regulation of certain consumer transactions, charitable solicitations and charitable gaming regulation, and milk marketing regulation.

 

The department is achieving its mission within the parameters of the resources that are available. The department has been able to achieve this service level by streamlining the organization, reducing levels of supervision, utilizing technology, partnering with industry and consumer groups, pursuing and obtaining federal grant resources, and the outstanding productivity of a highly skilled, dedicated, and experienced workforce.

The department has increased the promotion of Virginia's agriculture internationally, and a presence is established through market representation contracts in Canada, India, China, Latin America, and the European Union.  This facilitates interactions between Virginia's producers and international buyers for commodities, specialty foods and wine, and wood products.

In 2012 General Assembly authorized the Governor's Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund to attract economic development projects involving agriculture and forestry operations to locate in Virginia.  The fund is an important tool in growing the Commonwealth’s agriculture and forestry sector and helping to make Virginia a leading exporter of agricultural and forest products.

Significant performance indicators are listed below, including those designated as key measures (indicated by an asterisk).


 

 
Authorized Maximum Employment Level (MEL)          526
Salaried Employees440
Wage Employees          100
Contracted Employees          14
 

 The limited staff and funding resources available are a key risk for VDACS.  Changes in Virginia agriculture, animal health responsibilities, information technology security issues, and the increase in consumer protection demands severely challenge the department. Staffing and resource limitations are forcing the agency to be selective in setting priorities and objectives. International marketing, farmland preservation, niche and specialty crop marketing and small farmer assistance, animal disease, plant disease and pests, and food safety remain priorities. Other program areas and issues may not be served or services may be limited, if resources are not available to support them. 

Another key risk is that of disasters, both natural and man-made.  The threats of animal disease, plant diseases and pests, and food contamination or food borne illnesses have been amplified by the global economy.  The opportunities for the spread of diseases, pests, and terrorism have increased worldwide because of travel and international movement of people, commodities, food, and animals. 

Factors affecting the department's workforce also pose a risk.  With retirements there is a loss of institutional knowledge and "transition speed bumps" as new employees assume duties.  Limitations on filling vacant positions may lead to low employee morale, lack of needed skill sets, and difficulty producing quality when quantity is demanded.   

In addition, the department is threatened by federal budget uncertainty.  The pervasive loss of public confidence in government and anti-regulatory sentiments may also create changes in the department’s approach to program delivery.    

 

 
General Information About Ongoing Status of Agency

VDACS is providing increased services with fewer resources than in the past as a result of increased productivity. The agency serves more customers with fewer employees and less funding than were available ten to twenty years ago.  For example, the maximum employment level decreased by 24 percent (from 701 positions in 1991 to 526 today). The department has maintained a strong customer service focus, and we benefit from good working relationships with industry, agricultural interest groups, universities, and state and local government agencies. 

One of the challenges the agency faces is integrating new technologies in customer interaction.  There is a focus on offering service delivery through the internet to customers, and providing opportunities for transactions such as registrations and fee payments over the web.  However, with limited resources available for this initiative, implementation has been difficult.

Information Technology

A continuing demand for streamlined services from constituents; an increasing requirement for compliance with central agency standards, policies and procedures; and minimal funding and staffing resources hinder the agency’s ability to move forward with information technology initiatives. The Commonwealth of Virginia Security Standards, Governmental Accounting Standards Board Pronouncement 51, audit requirements, budget reductions, data standards, and other central agency requirements have stretched information technology resources.  The infrastructure partnership requires management of their activities by existing agency staff, again adding to the time constraints.

The department is working on a number of information technology solutions, such as increasing technology capabilities, providing services on-line through the web portal, and updating legacy mainframe applications.  The department has almost 100 agency-specific computer applications. 

Estimate of Technology Funding Needs
Workforce Development

The department is facing the challenge of losing many of our long-tenured staff to retirement. Currently, 16.7 percent of employees are eligible to retire and an additional 16.7 percent will be eligible within the next five years, which is one-third of the workforce. Additionally, many of our wage employees are former retirees who may not choose to continue working. This will result in a great loss of institutional knowledge, skills and experience. The average age of VDACS employees was 49 as of March 1, 2014. Approximately 234 of 440 employees are age 50 and over, and approximately 103 employees have over 25 years of state service.

With an anticipated increase in turnover due to retirements, the department continues to explore avenues to improve staff retention. Job satisfaction involves many factors; however, VDACS' ability to attract, recruit, and retain a qualified workforce is adversely impacted by agency salaries that are not competitive and changes in fringe benefits. In most cases, salaries are not market competitive when compared to the private sector, federal government, and local governments.  The lack of funding for the performance management system and salary increases has an impact on employee morale and our ability to retain younger workers.

Additionally, funding to support employee training is limited.  In many cases, this is negatively impacting employees' ability to maintain required certifications and improve job skills.

Physical Plant

The department operates and maintains 307,450 square feet at 18 facilities, ranging from small office buildings to complex laboratories to large wholesale farmers market facilities.  The facilities are located statewide, from Warrenton to Wytheville to Onley (on the Eastern Shore of Virginia).  The facilities include a network of  regional animal health laboratories, regional office buildings, farmers markets, and a seafood processing facility.  The farmers markets and seafood processing facility are operated through contracts with local grower associations.  In addition, the department leases space at other locations for smaller offices and storage.

Like many other aspects of agency operations, funding for facility maintenance has been limited in recent years.  Also, as new facilities have come on-line, additional operating support has not been provided.  A number of improvements, such as upgrading the controls systems, are being undertaken to extend the usefulness of the buildings.

 
TitleFile Type
 

Distribution of USDA Donated Food [45708]

The Food Distribution Program manages the distribution of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) donated foods to all eligible outlets in the state.

This activity performs the following activities:
•Approves non-school outlets for participation
•Orders USDA foods based on USDA foods offered, school food requests or clients served
•Arranges transportation and storage, maintains accountability of USDA foods
•Ensures that USDA donated food usage is in accordance with federal regulations. The staff provides technical assistance in program operation and promotes Virginia products to recipient agencies and commercial distributors. This office also diverts USDA foods in emergencies for disaster relief, including potential terrorist attacks, to assist state recovery operations.

Currently, there are three components to this activity that are interrelated and generate economies of scale because they use the same personnel and a single commercial distribution system:

The first and largest component is USDA foods for school lunches. The program benefits state taxpayers by reducing the cost of school meals by 20.75 cents each. Virginia schools serve 108.1 million meals annually. This component provides the initial shelf stable food resources for state recovery operations from disasters or emergencies including terrorist attacks. In the event of state emergencies, disasters, or terrorist attacks, the department can also coordinate the diversion of USDA foods from a variety of sources.

The second component is The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services distributes foods donated by USDA to seven regional food banks for subsequent distribution to low income households. The department also distributes TEFAP foods to eligible soup kitchens/congregate feeding sites in Virginia.

The third component is the distribution of USDA foods to public and private nonprofit institutions. USDA foods provided to state and local penal institutions reduce the food cost burden to the economic benefit of Virginia taxpayers.

 

This service area aligns with the departmental mission to enhance opportunities for the growth and profitability of the Virginia agriculture industry. The activity promotes economic opportunities for Virginia producers (farmers), processors and distributors who warehouse USDA foods in conjunction with their commercial food sales to these outlets.  The service area also plays a vital role in promoting healthy lives by providing nutritious, low/no-cost meals for food program participants.

 
Description of Major Products and Services

Distribute USDA donated foods to eligible outlets in the state.

Approve non-school outlets for participation.

Order USDA foods based on clients' requests and USDA foods offered.

Arrange transportation/storage and maintain accountability of USDA foods.

Divert USDA foods for emergency use after disasters or terrorism relief to assist state recovery operations.

Ensure that USDA donated food usage is in accordance with federal regulations.

Award state contracts to commercial food distributors to receive, store and distribute USDA foods to outlets specified by the department.

Expand opportunities for Virginia’s producers and processors in the marketing of agricultural products to schools and institutions.

Anticipated Changes

None.

Factors Impacting

None.

 

The service area is supported by the general fund and federal funds.

Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium271,5772,853,296271,5772,853,296
Changes to Initial Appropriation0000
 
TitleFile Type
 

Animal Disease Prevention and Control [53101]

A statewide veterinary medicine regulatory program which prevents, contains, and eradicates infectious and contagious diseases of Virginia’s livestock and poultry populations in order to enhance their national and international marketability and to increase the profit potential for the animal agriculture industry.

Services include:

Health tests and certification to assure that livestock and poultry are free of diseases when they are sold or shipped.

Analysis of the state’s livestock population through continuous monitoring and testing at livestock markets and shows.

Coordination of livestock and poultry disease eradication programs.

Investigation of drug residue cases and tracebacks associated with suspect animals.

 

Promotes the economic growth and development of Virginia agriculture by protecting livestock and poultry from diseases, ensuring a safe and wholesome food supply and protecting citizens from zoonotic diseases.

 
Description of Major Products and Services

Customer assistance: consult with producers and veterinarians on animal health issues.

Inspection and enforcement: inspect livestock markets for compliance with sanitation requirements and records; conduct dealer inspections; monitor health certificates, both issued and for imported livestock; monitor equine events; monitor brucellosis and tuberculosis test results; assist with follow-up testing when necessary for brucellosis and tuberculosis.

Accreditation: accredit new veterinarians to assure they are knowledgeable of state laws and regulations.

Investigations: perform foreign animal disease investigations when suspect cases reported by producers or veterinarians.

Anticipated Changes

Increased monitoring responsibility in response to foreign and emerging animal diseases.

Factors Impacting

Responsibility for monitoring foreign and emerging animal diseases and federal support for cooperative agreements.

 

The service area is supported by the general fund, some fee revenue, and federal cooperative agreement support for disease monitoring activities. 

Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium1,840,0361,013,8191,840,0361,013,819
Changes to Initial Appropriation0000
 
TitleFile Type
 

Diagnostic Services [53102]

The Regional Animal Health Laboratory System (RAHLS) consists of five regional animal health laboratories geographically distributed around the Commonwealth such that all potential clients are within two to three hours of at least one facility.

Diagnostic services provides necropsy (animal autopsy), diagnostic microbiology, dairy microbiology, parasitology, serology, molecular testing, histopathology and food safety testing.

Customer service is enhanced by each facility being staffed with professional personnel to provide the highest quality of veterinary laboratory diagnostic services directly to the client.

 

The RAHLS assists the citizens of Virginia by providing veterinary and food safety diagnostic services that align with the agency’s mission of promoting the economic growth and development of Virginia agriculture.

 
Description of Major Products and Services

Animal Diagnostic Testing Services: The RAHLS offers diagnostic services to individual livestock and poultry producers, veterinary practitioners, and companion animal owners. Some of these services are not available on a routine basis from any other source. Virginia livestock and poultry producers benefit by having convenient, economical, expert advice on contagious diseases which can lead to losses through death and/or reduced productivity of animals. Non-agricultural residents of the Commonwealth benefit from the rapid diagnosis and control of diseases that can be transmitted to humans such as E. coli, salmonellosis, brucellosis and Campylobacteriosis. In cooperation with the Department of Consolidated Laboratory Services (the human health counterpart to the RAHLS), the RAHLS facilitates the diagnosis of rabies by removing heads from suspect animals.

Animal Regulatory Program Testing Services: RAHLS also provides regulatory testing (brucellosis, swine pseudorabies, Johne’s disease, equine infectious anemia, etc.) so that producers can comply with state, federal and international requirements for sale or movement of animals and animal products. These tests perform an important surveillance function in the control of economically significant animal diseases and public health threats such as exotic Newcastle disease, avian influenza, west Nile virus, bovine tuberculosis, brucellosis and pseudorabies. Because of increased trade requirements, these tests are becoming more important, and more varied (e.g. the establishment of a Johne’s control program).

Food Safety Testing Services: Regulatory testing is performed in support of the program in the Office of Dairy and Foods that permits interstate shipment of milk produced in Virginia and assures an unadulterated milk supply. Testing services are provided for the Office of Meat and Poultry Services generic E. coli standard, required in state inspected processing plants. Additional testing services are performed for the Office of Food Safety and Security and the Office of Meat and Poultry Services to certify water supplies. Because of current heightened concerns, food safety testing work is increasing in type and volume.  For example, a steady increase in the number of small scale cheese producers in the Commonwealth has led to a continued increase in regulatory food safety testing of cheese samples.

Anticipated Changes

As the types of diagnostic testing available become more varied and sophisticated (e.g. molecular or “DNA” testing), the value of such testing also rises to producers.

Factors Impacting

Submissions are generated by the livestock and poultry producers and their veterinarians, so the volume of submissions is somewhat variable, depending on the overall animal agriculture economy.

 

The service area is supported by the general fund and laboratory services fee revenue.  The fee structure is continually reviewed to ensure that rates are equitable and competitive. 

Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium2,098,0031,548,4802,301,7771,548,480
Changes to Initial Appropriation00-203,7740
 
TitleFile Type
 

Animal Welfare [53104]

Products and services include:
-A statewide program that promotes the proper care, husbandry and treatment of animals in Virginia;
-Conducts inspections of public and private animal shelter facilities in the Commonwealth; and
-Provides information and professional assistance on a statewide basis to diverse animal interest groups (e.g. agriculture industries, companion animal industries, wildlife and humane interest groups, etc.).

 

Works to ensure the humane treatment and care of all animals, including those in shelters, throughout the Commonwealth, which aligns with the mission of providing agricultural and consumer protection services.

 
Description of Major Products and Services

Customer assistance: provide information to livestock markets on animal welfare and humane handling; provide information for local governing bodies regarding the Comprehensive Animal Care Laws and animal welfare; assist Animal Control Officers in investigations and offer technical advice regarding animal care; consult individuals with complaints relating to animal care and welfare laws; provide technical expertise to entities that train/certify Animal Control Officers.

Inspection and enforcement: inspect livestock markets to ensure compliance with animal welfare laws; inspect animal pounds annually; maintain training records for Animal Control Officers; review plans for public animal shelter facilities; assist local Animal Control Officers with their investigations of complaints of animal care and/or cruelty; develop new training standards for Animal Control Officers and approve basic and continuing education courses for Animal Control Officers; establish approved methods and chemicals for humane euthanasia of animals; establish approved methods and chemicals for immobilization of animals.

Anticipated Changes

No anticipated changes.

Factors Impacting

The changing status of animal shelters related to construction of new facilities, merging of animal facilities of local governing bodies, and complex contractual relationships between animal control entities will impact services.

 

The service area is supported by the general fund.

Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium194,4530194,4530
Changes to Initial Appropriation0000
 
TitleFile Type
 

Grading and Certification of Virginia Products [53201]

This activity provides a grading system that identifies product quality and condition, which is essential for effective and efficient marketing to occur. This program uniformly applies grade standards and specifications of quality that are accepted, understood and utilized by both buyers and sellers worldwide. The agency operates under agreements with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide commodity grading, inspection and official certification services; Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Auditing and Country of Origin retail surveillance. In addition, this activity is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Virginia Controlled Atmosphere Storage Law for apples and the Virginia Seed Potato Law.

The major service is inspection and official certification of product quality, according to USDA or Virginia grade standards, of fresh fruits, vegetables, peanuts, processed fruits and vegetables, grain, poultry, eggs, livestock, and other miscellaneous commodities for producers, shippers, processors, buyers, marketers, and other financially interested parties who request and pay for the service when needed. Other services include providing the official documentation required for export and official documentation required in settling claims or in legal proceedings.

Along with buyers and sellers who request grading services, all Virginia agriculture benefits from these services because industry constantly assesses the added value of graded versus non-graded products. Prices of non-graded products benefit from market value established by graded products. Trust in the agency's grading allows buyers to make bids through electronic auctions or otherwise buy without the necessity to travel to see the commodity. This attracts more buyers for more competitive bidding. Grading provides an incentive to produce higher quality products.

 

This service area directly aligns with the department's mission to promote economic growth and development of Virginia agriculture by enhancing the profitability of Virginia food, agricultural and forest products enterprises.

 
Description of Major Products and Services

Inspection and official certification of product quality, according to national or Virginia grade standards, of the following: fresh fruits, vegetables, peanuts, processed fruits and vegetables, grain, poultry, eggs, livestock, and other miscellaneous commodities.

Anticipated Changes

Despite decline in the total number of farms in Virginia, the Commodity Grading Program continues to develop Certification Services that are customized to meet the specific product needs of producers, food manufacturers, the food service industry, and food retailers in response to consumer demand for new and diverse grade and quality certifications.

The amount of corn, soybean, and grain products that are graded in and shipped from Virginia continues to increase with new shipping facilities planned in a number of locations. 

Factors Impacting

The expanding and diverse international marketplace will increase the demand for grading services.

 

The service area is primarily supported through commodity grading fees. 

Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium446,8236,623,427446,8236,623,427
Changes to Initial Appropriation00-132,0000
 
TitleFile Type
 

Milk Marketing Regulation [53204]

This service area creates and administers regulations that foster an orderly state milk marketing environment to provide for a constantly available supply of milk production dedicated to fluid milk product for use by citizens in controlled markets.

 

This service area directly aligns with the department's mission of providing marketing and consumer protection through the provision of a constantly available source of a healthy and wholesome food source sufficient to satisfy the demands of the citizens of the Commonwealth.

 
Description of Major Products and Services

Establish and manage an annual milk production supply system that meets the need for fluid milk product  in controlled markets.

Establish and announce advanced monthly producer prices for delivered milk production. A monthly price for non-fluid milk products is also established and announced.

Review, audit, and apply established milk accounting standards to licensed distributors' monthly reports to calculate and communicate producer delivery values.

Review, analyze, and audit distributors' monthly reports to ascertain correctness and the need for adjustments. Examine licensee records and business practices for compliance with regulations.

Investigate all complaints regarding compliance with regulations.

License all processors, distributors, producer-distributors, and retailers marketing fluid milk products in Virginia controlled markets.

License producers who produce and deliver raw milk to licensed processors supplying fluid milk products in Virginia controlled markets. Account for licensed producer’s production.

Anticipated Changes

None.

Factors Impacting

The number of dairy producers continues to decline annually placing stress on the availability of raw milk production to meet consumer demand. Declining milk production in the Southeast places stress on the Northeast and upper Midwest producers to supply milk to processors in that region. Virginia is a net exporting state and the Southeast is the primary region that receives those exports.

The continued increase in specialty fluid milk products results in the need to license processors and their distributor customers who market these products in Virginia controlled markets.

The availability of individuals with the technical knowledge of the dairy industry business practices, pricing of dairy production and utilization, and accounting principles is declining rapidly. With anticipated retirements, successful recruitment of staff will be difficult. Extensive and costly training will be required of new employees.

The current national dairy marketing structure and environment, as well as that in Virginia, is experiencing rapid and dynamic changes through both vertical and horizontal integration. These changes place stress on the ability of the Milk Commission to ensure that an effective regulatory structure is in place to supervise and control all aspects of the production, processing and marketing of milk.

 

The service area is supported by producer self assessments. 

Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium0760,8490760,849
Changes to Initial Appropriation0000
 
TitleFile Type
 

Marketing Research [53205]

Marketing Research includes Virginia Market News and Virginia Agricultural Statistics Services.

Virginia Market News Service collects and disseminates daily market prices and analyses to Virginia agricultural producers, processors, handlers, general agribusinesses, agriculture financial community, print and broadcast media, marketers, commercial market news services, consumers and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). These unbiased, third party reports assist each business and individual in making accurate, reliable sales and purchasing decisions. Virginia Market News Service operates under a cooperative agreement with USDA Agriculture Marketing Service Market News.

Virginia Agricultural Statistics Service issues official state forecasts and estimates of crops, livestock, poultry, dairy, prices, labor and other related items in cooperation with the USDA-National Statistics Service. This cooperative series of reports helps maintain an orderly association among the outputs, supply, and marketing sectors in Virginia’s agricultural community. The Virginia Agricultural Statistics Service is a joint cooperative federal and state program.

With the highly competitive global food and forest products arena, consistent market research and reporting is critical to better anticipate market shifts, enhance market segmentation from competitors, and position Virginia sources as preferred suppliers.

 

The service area aligns with the department's mission to enhance opportunities for the growth and profitability of the Virginia agriculture industry.

 
Description of Major Products and Services

Collect daily information on Virginia prices of agricultural commodities.

Publish unbiased, third party reports and analyses that assist agricultural producers.

Assess current and future markets for Virginia products.

Anticipated Changes

Anticipated changes include staying updated with the variety of delivery mechanisms required to reach customers and clients, and the ever-changing nature of Virginia agriculture both in terms of products and customer needs. Greater diversification of Virginia agriculture both in terms of customers and clients enhances the need for more customized market research services.

Factors Impacting

Changes in agriculture and information delivery technology will impact Market News.

 

The service area is primarily supported by the general fund.

Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium236,02920,000236,02920,000
Changes to Initial Appropriation0000
 
TitleFile Type
 

Market Virginia Agricultural and Forestry Products Nationally and Internationally [53206]

This service area locates, develops, maintains and expands local, regional, and global markets for Virginia food, agricultural, and forest products. Functions within the service area are separated between domestic, international, and livestock marketing.

 

This service area directly aligns with the department's mission to promote economic growth and development of Virginia agriculture by enhancing the profitability of Virginia food, agricultural and forest products enterprises.

 
Description of Major Products and Services

Sales and marketing services to assist agricultural and forest products producers, food processors, and industry organizations by initiating sales leads and production area tours, developing new markets and packaging requirements, completing market analysis, participating and representing agricultural industries during trade shows, implementing retail and consumer promotions, distributing marketing information during presentations, providing administrative support to Commodity Boards, assisting with organic certification procedures, and cooperating with the Departments of Health and Aging on agricultural related consumer oriented grants. Activities cover conventional and organically produced products.  The Virginia Farmers Market System provides services small to medium size produce growers through four state-owned regional shipping point market facilities. Each market facility provides produce growers with a central point for delivery of recently harvested product, which is co-mingled, graded, packed and cooled to meet retail grocery and institutional buyer specifications.

Livestock marketing services to provide a complete and integrated marketing program for the livestock industry. These services include a comprehensive market development and promotion program, market information and analysis, and official quality grade evaluation of live animals.

International marketing services to assist Virginia exporters in marketing their products overseas by organizing foreign trade missions, hosting buyer missions, participating in trade shows and monitoring trade policy issues. Through offices in Richmond and Hong Kong, and a network of local consultants in India, China, Canada, Europe and Latin America, valuable in-country assistance is provided to Virginia exporters.

 Agriculture product promotion services that include advertising, trade show management, literature development, consumer and retail promotions to expand, find, and create markets for products.

Anticipated Changes

None.

Factors Impacting

None.

 

The service area is supported primarily by the general fund.  The Appropriation Act includes lanaguage designating a portion of the funding for international marketing activities. 

Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium3,916,277599,5003,916,277599,500
Changes to Initial Appropriation-112,9000-186,9060
 
TitleFile Type
 

Agricultural Commodity Boards [53208]

This service area provides administrative oversight to 15 commodity boards, all of which are supervisory boards that serve the producers of apples, peanuts, potatoes, soybeans, corn, small grains, marine products, wine, pork, eggs, cattle, tobacco, sheep, horses and cotton. The mission of the boards is to provide short and long term growth for their respective industries through strategic investment in research, marketing, and education programs. The supervisory boards were established when each industry requested legislation that enabled a producer referendum on the question of whether to establish the board and collect an assessment to fund the board. Most boards are totally self-supporting through these assessments.

The self-assessment concept of the boards provides funding for market development and/or promotion projects, research and education for the individual commodities. Each board has separate legislation with various limitations on assessment fund expenditures.

The Marine Products Board is funded via marine gear license fees. The Virginia Wine Board operates on a general fund appropriation linked to the liter tax on wine. Funds expended by the Wine Board are used for wine marketing, education, as well as enology and viticulture research.

 

This service area directly aligns with the department's mission to promote the economic growth and development of Virginia agriculture by enhancing the profitability of Virginia food, agricultural and forest products enterprises.

 
Description of Major Products and Services

Marketing/market development activities: product placement; sales calls/leads; special event planning and execution; sales seminar planning and execution; national and international trade show participation; special promotions planning and execution; media, public and customer relations; promotional brochure/directory development and distribution; and industry and producer relations efforts and events.

Research: commodity production improvement techniques; disease eradication; value-added product development; commodity transportation and handling; market research (manufacturing industry and consumer use/trends/preferences).

Education: producer, first handlers, wholesalers, distributors and consumers.

Anticipated Changes

With reduced funding caused by decreased commodity production in some sectors, commodity boards will have to reprioritize program initiatives in order to continue effectiveness. Boards will have to reconsider state contributions to national commodity program efforts versus continuing in-state programs.

Factors Impacting

None.

 
Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium2,094,3723,500,9292,094,3723,500,929
Changes to Initial Appropriation0000
 
TitleFile Type
 

Agribusiness Development Services and Farmland Preservation [53209]

Economic development of the agricultural sector and preservation of the State’s agricultural resources, specifically farmland.

 

The service area aligns directly with the Agency’s mission to promote economic growth and development of Virginia agriculture, encourage environmental stewardship and provide consumer protection.

 
Description of Major Products and Services

Agriculture and forestry development assists agriculture and forestry based enterprises at every stage of their business, from developing the concept to coordinating the grand opening.  Project managers respond to requests for assistance from individuals and and their partners in the economic and agricultural development community, helping clients navigate and make the most of local, state, and federal business assistance resources.  The farmland preservation program assists in the preservation of Virginia's farmland by helping to fund and establish local purchase of development rights programs, educating the public about the importance of farmland preservation, and working with farmers, land preservation organizations, and local governments.  The program also supports farm transition by managing the Farm Link database, developing farm transition workshops, and creating programs to assist and ready young farmers for farm ownership.

Anticipated Changes

Expanded and increased business development activities in specialized agribusiness, including value-added and renewable energy related business ventures.

 

Factors Impacting

Continued interest in farmland preservation policies and programs.

Increased interest in farm transition activities.

Instability of state and local funding for purchase of development rights programs.

 

Funding for the purchase of develpment rights matching grant program is transferred administratively to the Farmland Preservation Fund in accordance with the Appropriation Act.

Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium1,518,03160,0001,518,03160,000
Changes to Initial Appropriation00750,0000
 
TitleFile Type
 

Financial Assistance for Economic Development [53410]

Provides financial assistance through the Governor's Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund to attract agriculture and forestry operations to locate or expand in Virginia.  Funds are also used for local government agribusiness economic development planning and activities.

 

The service area aligns directly with the agency's mission to promote economic growth and development of Virginia agriculture, encourage environmental stewardship and provide consumer protection. 

 
Description of Major Products and Services

The Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund is an important tool to encourage the growth of agribusinesses in Virginia.  Investments increase employment, local tax base, and use of Virginia agricultural products.  The department is responsible for sharing information about the fund with political subdivisions and agribusinesses, preparing project summaries and return on investment calculations, and issuing biennial reports and other documents as needed to administer the program.

Anticipated Changes

Expanded and increased business development activities in specialized agribusiness including value-added and renewable energy related ventures.

Factors Impacting

Overall economic conditions for business growth, trade, and development.

Market demand for products, particularly increasing demand for local and sustainable products.

Supply and production level of commodities and agricultural-based products.

Changing demographics of consumers.

Discontinuation or modification of federal agricultural support programs.

Financial security and stability of agricultural businesses.

Changing development pressures on agricultural resources base.

 

The general fund appropriation for facility and planning grants is transferred to the Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund in accordance with the Appropriation Act.

Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium1,110,00001,110,0000
Changes to Initial Appropriation0000
 
TitleFile Type
 

Plant Pest and Disease Prevention and Control Services [53504]

Regulatory pest control seeks to ensure the availability of pest-free nursery stock through annual registration and inspection of Virginia nursery growers and dealers. This service area also prevents the establishment or slows the spread of plant pests not known to occur in the Commonwealth or which are established only in a limited area of the state. The number of exotic plant pests threatening establishment in the Commonwealth such as fire ant, cotton boll weevil, emerald ash borer, sudden oak death, thousand cankers disease, Asian longhorn beetle, gypsy moth, Africanized honey bee, small hive beetle, giant Salvinia, and orobanche, continues to increase. Eradication and/or control techniques continue to prevent wide-spread infestation levels across the state.

Pest-free certification enhances the marketability of Virginia's agricultural and forestry commodities by providing phytosanitary inspection and certification for export to other states and countries.

Plant pest assistance and education helps property owners in reducing the effects of major nuisance pests through the use of environmentally sound practices, and provides educational material and presentations regarding invasive species and plant pests.

Threatened and endangered species are protected through review of environmental assessments and coordination of strategies to ensure the continued protection of state or federal threatened or endangered plant and insect species that are found in or near major construction project areas. This service area also provides registration of Virginia ginseng dealers and inspects/certifies ginseng to allow its sale and export.

Apiary assistance includes inspection of  honey bee colonies for disease and overall health in order to ensure the adequate pollination of crops and the safe interstate movement of colonies. This service area also assists fruit and vegetable growers in locating pollination sources and conducts outreach efforts to educate the public on the benefits of honey bee pollination to Virginia’s production of food crops.

Coyote control is provided to reduce the impact of coyote populations on agricultural interests by providing funding to the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to support coyote control efforts in Virginia.


 

 

This service area directly aligns with the department's mission of promoting the economic growth and development of Virginia agriculture, providing consumer protection, and encouraging environmental stewardship.

 
Description of Major Products and Services

This service area protects the agricultural and horticultural interests of the Commonwealth. Services include:

Preventing the establishment of or retarding the spread of designated nuisance or injurious pests, or the introduction of new pests, through the use of environmentally sound practices.

Reducing the environmental effects and impact on consumers of nuisance and injurious pests including insects, plant diseases, and weeds.

Enhancing the marketability of Virginia's agricultural commodities through pest-free certification of products for interstate and international trade.

Protecting existing plant and insect populations considered threatened or endangered.

Promoting beekeeping to ensure Virginia's growers have access to adequate supplies of healthy pollinators.

Reducing the impact of coyote populations on agricultural interests by providing funding to the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to support coyote control efforts.

 

Anticipated Changes

The number of clients served in these categories has increased, driven primarily by global demand. We expect the overall number of clients served to continue to increase.

Factors Impacting

None.

 

The service area is supported by a variety of funding sources, including the general fund, federal funds, and fee revenue.

Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium1,972,6691,372,7211,972,6691,372,721
Changes to Initial Appropriation0000
 
TitleFile Type
 

Agricultural and Food Emergencies Prevention and Response [54101]

This service area coordinates emergency plans, training, and exercises within the agency and with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), and it serves as the department's point of contact for VDEM.  Other activities include representing the agency on panels, working groups and committees addressing homeland security (i.e. Commonwealth Preparedness Working Group, Virginia Information Sharing Working Group), and coordinating with divisions and offices to identify and prioritize equipment, training and exercises required to enhance food and agriculture disaster prevention, mitigation, response and recovery efforts.

 

This service area directly aligns with the department's mission of promoting economic growth and development of Virginia agriculture, encouraging environmental stewardship and providing consumer protection. A prepared response to emergencies and disasters of all kinds mitigates the economic impact, facilitates a rapid recovery, and appropriately addresses environmental concerns.

 
Description of Major Products and Services

Emergency Response Training and Exercises: Training and exercises are coordinated for VDACS staff to enhance response to emergencies and disasters of all kinds. Examples of training and exercise topics include: • National Incident Management System • Incident Command System • Emergency Operations Center (VDACS responsibilities, and Task Management System) • Food Borne Illness Outbreak Response • Highly Contagious Livestock or Poultry Disease Outbreak Response • Plant Pest Outbreak Response

Homeland Security Information Sharing: Security information is shared in daily and special reports from the Department of Homeland Security, Virginia Fusion Center and Virginia Department of Emergency Management with applicable members of VDACS.

Emergency Response Plans: Plans are coordinated and revised to respond to agency emergency responsibilities to provide: •Nutrition Assistance for Sheltered Virginians, • Animal/Zoonotic Disease, or Plant Pest Infestation Response, • Food Safety and Food Security Services, and • Emergency Sheltering of Household Pets and Service Animals.

Identify Emergency Services Requirement and Funding Sources: Coordinates with VDACS divisions and offices to identify and prioritize equipment, training and exercises required to enhance food and agriculture disaster prevention, mitigation, response and recovery efforts. Identifies sources of funding to meet these requirements.

Anticipated Changes

No significant changes anticipated.

Factors Impacting

None.

 
Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium166,445221,739166,445221,739
Changes to Initial Appropriation0000
 
TitleFile Type
 

Consumer Affairs - Regulation and Consumer Education [55001]

This service area protects consumers from fraud, deception, and illegal practices in the marketplace though administrative oversight of regulatory programs.

 

This service area directly aligns with the department's mission of providing consumer protection.

 
Description of Major Products and Services

Regulatory oversight: This service area regulates charitable solicitations, credit services businesses, extended service contracts, health spas, membership campgrounds, sellers of legal services plans, travel clubs, and waste kitchen grease. This service area provides entity registration, investigation of complaints and management of related sureties. The number of regulants has remained steady in some areas, and increased in others, regardless of the economic environment.

Anticipated Changes

We expect the overall number of regulants to increase.

Factors Impacting

Consumer awareness and attention of regulatory programs is influences by national events and media.

 

The service area is primarily supported through regulatory fees.

Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium33,7261,405,74533,7261,405,745
Changes to Initial Appropriation0000
 
TitleFile Type
 

Regulation of Grain Commodity Sales [55207]

The administration of both the Grain Handler Law and the Grain Dealer Licensing and Bonding Law aid in marketing grain produced in Virginia.

All grain is weighed and the vast majority is graded pursuant to the regulations set forth by the Grain laws. This ensures that both buyer and seller have grain that is of a known weight and grade as the basis for their transaction.

The grain law program also helps to assure that Virginia's farmers are promptly and properly paid for their grain through the enforcement of the Grain Dealers Licensing and Bonding Law. This law requires that a grain dealer be properly bonded with a surety and licensed with the Commonwealth of Virginia. It also requires the dealer to keep all grain transaction records for reviewing. In the case of dealer default, injured parties would have financial recourse against a dealer's bond or letter of credit.

With grain being grown in nearly every county of the Commonwealth and covering over a million acres, this grain law program has played a very important role in the orderly and efficient marketing of Virginia grain and in the financial protection of Virginia's grain farmers.

 

Aligns with the departmental goal to provide agricultural and consumer protection services which support economic growth and meet consumer needs.

 
Description of Major Products and Services

Register and license all grain handlers and dealers.

Visit all grain handlers and dealers.

Review receipting and grading practices and procedures.

Inspect grain testing equipment for accuracy; condemn equipment out of tolerance; seal approved equipment; check grade grain samples; and mail results to producers.

Provide marketing and technical assistance to grain producers.

Plan and conduct grain grading workshops annually for growers, producers and processors.

Anticipated Changes

Additional requests to provide marketing and technical assistance for both large and small producers, high volume and high value producers, and direct and international marketers as grain markets are becoming far more specialized and customized than in previous years. The expansion of shipping grain and soybean products in ocean-going containers has revolutionized grain shipment and has created an extensive new challenge for supplying services to this key sector of Virginia’s agricultural economy.

Factors Impacting

None.

 
Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium82,6638,97582,6638,975
Changes to Initial Appropriation0000
 
TitleFile Type
 

Regulation of Weights and Measures and Motor Fuels [55212]

This service area protects consumers from inaccurate measurement, fraud, deception, and illegal practices in the marketplace. Services include:

•Inspection and testing of weighing and measuring devices;

•Enforcement of motor fuel quality standards;

•Calibration of measurement standards used by government and industry within the Commonwealth;

•Investigation or referral of consumer complaints; and

•Licensing, permitting, registration, and bonding of businesses, individuals, and products.

 

This service area directly aligns with the department's mission of providing consumer protection.

 
Description of Major Products and Services

Inspection and testing of weighing and measuring devices: These inspections are conducted statewide at a variety of locations, including large retail and department stores, building supplies and hardware stores, distribution facilities, and manufacturing facilities.

Enforcement of motor fuel quality standards: This activity ensures that quality petroleum products are available in, and that inferior products are removed from, the retail market through the testing and analysis of motor fuels and the investigation of related consumer complaints.

Calibration of measurement standards: This function involves the operation of the Metrology Laboratory and the calibration of standards used in the weights and measures inspection program. The laboratory provides traceability to national standards for measurements of mass, volume, length, temperature and frequency. The laboratory also provides measurement calibration for other government agencies and manufacturers seeking to comply with ISO 9000 standards and other quality programs that need the traceability to national standards.  Local law enforcement agencies rely on the laboratory for the certification of tuning forks used to calibrate radar units. Demand for this service should remain constant.

Complaint investigation and referral: This function involves the investigation of consumer complaints related to measurement. Investigations may involve the accuracy of weights or measures, advertisement, method of sale, or services. Complaints may also allege unfair, deceptive or illegal business practices. The number of complaints is influenced by state of the economy, introduction of new consumer products and technologies, weather, etc. Demand for investigation of complaints has increased concurrently with increases in population.

Licensing, permitting, registration, and bonding: This service area protects customers from unscrupulous business activities, protects the assets of agricultural producers, and regulates the activities of individuals involved in sales, installation, repair, and operation of weighing and measuring devices. Demand for this service has increased concurrently with increases in population.

Anticipated Changes

Demand for services will continue to increase with public sensitivity to fuel prices, expansion of trade opportunities, and population growth.

Factors Impacting

None.

 

The service area is primarily supported by the general fund.

Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium2,577,136178,4302,529,406178,430
Changes to Initial Appropriation0000
 
TitleFile Type
 

Regulation of Food Establishments and Processors [55401]

This service area enforces the Virginia Food Laws to protect the health and safety of citizens by ensuring that these foods are safe, wholesome, properly labeled and fit for human consumption.

Services include:

•Inspections of food manufacturing, food processing, food storage and retail food sales facilities for compliance with the Virginia Food Laws as well as all associated regulations to address general sanitary conditions and procedures, foodborne illness risk factors, employee food-handling practices, labeling issues and other factors relating to economic deception.
•Food defense inspections and consultations to ensure that food products within establishments are free from adulterants resulting from intentional contamination.
•Inspections of establishments that manufacture, store or sell dietary supplements to ensure sanitary conditions in those establishments as well as to affirm that dietary supplements reviewed are safe and properly labeled.
•Collect food samples during inspections of and visits to food establishments in order to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
•Investigation of consumer complaints relating to sanitation of food establishments and suspect food products purchased or consumed are investigated on a regular basis.
•Addressing possible food contamination arising from fires, floods, hurricanes, power outages, vehicle wrecks, terrorist events, and other food related emergencies when and where the need arises.
•Provide advice, assistance and educational consultations to the food industry and to consumers relative to the requirements of the Virginia Food Laws and all associated regulations.
•Contributions to the economic development of Virginia’s food industry by providing an environment where all food related establishments can compete equitably.
•Development of regulations to establish minimum sanitary and operating requirements for the operation of all food handling and storage facilities on an ongoing basis.
•Foodborne illness investigations and traceback activities in order to determine the sources of contamination leading to foodborne illness outbreaks.

 

The services provided by this program support the agency’s mission by promoting the economic growth of Virginia’s food industry and by providing consumer protection by ensuring a safe and wholesome food supply.

 
Description of Major Products and Services

Inspection and enforcement: Thorough and consistent inspection and enforcement of the Virginia Food Laws and associated regulations addressing sanitary conditions and practices are conducted within food establishments throughout the Commonwealth to ensure that food products are properly handled, processed, packaged, stored and transported.

At least 1500 food samples are collected annually in response to consumer complaints, as a result of inspectional findings, and as an ongoing process to monitor the food supply to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Approximately 800 consumer complaints relating to alleged food-borne illness, adulteration of food products, labeling and advertising concerns, and establishment sanitation concerns are received and investigated annually.

Dietary supplements are examined frequently and determinations are made relative to product safety, proper labeling as well as health (structure/function) claims.

Evaluations of the adequacy of food security measures within food establishments are performed on a continuous basis. Education and consultation regarding any needed enhancements of food security plans in place are provided when and where appropriate.

Foodborne illness investigations and food traceback activities are conducted to determine possible sources of contamination of food products which have lead to foodborne illness outbreaks.

Customer Service: Educational and consultative services are provided to consumers, as well as new and existing food businesses, who desire information relative to the requirements of the Virginia Food Laws and the associated regulations.

Recall audit checks are performed to ensure the effectiveness of food product recalls designed to remove defective foods from consumers and the channels of commerce.

Anticipated Changes

The total demand for Food Safety and Security Program products and services is expected to continue to increase. In order to provide an adequate and acceptable level of food safety and security to the citizens of the Commonwealth, it will be necessary to increase the number of Food Safety and Security Specialists in order to meet the demands relative to both an enhanced level of services required as well as a significantly expanding workload.

Factors Impacting

An expanding industry will impact the ability of the Food Safety and Security Program to provide a safe and wholesome food supply. Without an increase in resources available to the program, as numbers of food establishments continue to proliferate, inspectional and sampling frequency at these establishments may decrease. Less frequent inspections may lead to an increase in the number of violations found by Food Safety Specialists as well as an increase in the number of food borne illness incidents and deaths.

An increasingly diverse food industry will require additional and on-going training to ensure that Food Safety Specialists are knowledgeable regarding a wide array of products and processes.

As the retail food industry continues to expand the types of products that it offers to the consumer, inspection times of these establishments will increase in order to adequately assess this wide array of products and processes. 



 

The program is supported by the general fund, federal grants, and a $40 fee paid by each food establishment.

Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium2,012,4441,100,6482,282,4911,100,648
Changes to Initial Appropriation0000
 
TitleFile Type
 

Regulation of Meat Products [55402]

The meat and poultry inspection program protects the safety of citizens by ensuring the production of safe, wholesome, and truthfully labeled meat and poultry products, as well as humane treatment of the animals that are slaughtered.

Services include:
 

  • Performing ante and post mortem slaughter inspection for consumer protection and to assist in assessing the disease status of the production animal population.
  • Sanitary inspections of slaughter and processing facilities.
  • Assessment and evaluation of plant Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point Programs (HACCP) to control and ensure safety of production processes.
  • Certification services provided to processors supplying products for requirement specific contracts.
  • Assisting prospective plant operators to obtain custom permits or grants of inspection.
 

These services support the agency’s mission by promoting the economic growth of Virginia’s food industry and by providing consumer protection by ensuring a safe and wholesome food supply.

 
Description of Major Products and Services

Inspection of animals: Ante and post mortem inspection is performed on all animals presented for slaughter at inspected facilities. This inspection is required if the resulting product will be offered for sale. Small farmers have expressed an increasing interest in marketing their own products, and have identified a shortage in slaughter plants in several areas of Virginia.

Inspection of facilities and production process: Both slaughter and processing plants must have acceptable written plans for sanitation and processing of products. The acceptability of the written plans, the ability of the plant operator to follow the written plan, and the condition of the facilities are all subject to continuing inspection. This inspection is required for wholesale sales. There is a normal progression of custom facilities becoming inspected facilities as the business grows.

Customer Service: Technical assistance is provided to persons wanting to enter the meat and poultry industry to help acquaint them with the legal requirements. Certification is provided when plant operators must meet contract or export requirements. Oversight and technical assistance and information is provided to custom plants. Often custom exempt plants are the entry point of a developing business.

Anticipated Changes

It is anticipated that the number of plants requiring inspection will grow and that the number of facilities requesting technical assistance will increase.

Factors Impacting

None.

 

The program is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture.  Under the agreement, the state must operate an inspection program at least equal to that of the federal government.

Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium1,494,9911,781,6691,494,9911,781,669
Changes to Initial Appropriation0000
 
TitleFile Type
 

Regulation of Milk and Dairy Industry [55403]

Dairy Services protects the health and safety of citizens in Virginia by ensuring that milk, ice cream and frozen desserts, cheese, butter and other dairy products are safe, wholesome, and fit for human consumption.

Services include:

•Issue permits necessary to operate dairy farms or dairy processing plants, frozen dessert manufacturer facilities, retail frozen dessert shops, and mobile units.
•Inspect Grade A or Manufactured Grade dairy farms, Contract Milk Haulers, Milk Pickup Haulers permitted to weigh and sample milk, milk tank trucks, plants processing manufactured grade milk, frozen desserts plants, and Grade A milk truck wash stations for compliance with the Virginia Dairy Laws and associated regulations.
•Collect and test milk and milk product samples to determine compliance with quality standards.
•Review equipment plans and facilities and provide consultative services to recommend improvement and alternatives to equipment, building design, and construction materials.
•Provide direct services to clients by assisting them in identifying corrective actions necessary to comply with milk and dairy product quality standards.

 

The services provided by this program support the agency’s mission by providing assistance to comply with regulatory requirements and providing a uniform inspection and enforcement system to promote a level playing field on which industry may compete while simultaneously ensuring food safety for Virginia citizens.

 
Description of Major Products and Services

Inspection and enforcement: Uniform inspection and enforcement activities are conducted on facilities statewide to ensure milk and dairy products are properly handled, processed, packaged, stored and transported in a safe manner and to ensure a level playing field on which businesses may compete. Inspections also provide a basis for compliance with the Interstate Milk Shipper rating which allows listed shippers to ship milk and dairy products in interstate commerce.

Regulation development: Provide Grade “A” dairy regulations that are consistent with the "Pasteurized Milk Ordinance" and the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipper  requirements to ensure Virginia dairy farmers and processors have the ability to ship Grade “A” milk and dairy products in interstate commerce. Provide manufactured milk regulations consistent with United States Department of Agriculture  recommendations to govern the production of manufactured grade milk and dairy products (butter, cheese, condensed milk and powdered milk) so that only safe and wholesome dairy products are offered for sale. Provide milk hauling, measuring, sampling, and testing regulations to ensure milk is sampled and transported in ways that prevent adulteration and maintain its quality. Provide regulations governing the methods by which milk and dairy products are tested for pay purposes to ensure accurate payment to dairy farmers. Provide regulations governing the production of ice cream, frozen desserts and similar products to ensure their safety and quality.

Economic Development: Provide advice and assistance to dairy farmers, milk plants and dairy product processors to foster the quality of their products and their ultimate success. Provide a uniform regulatory environment and level playing field on which businesses may compete.

Anticipated Changes

The total demand for Dairy Services Program products and services is expected to decline slowly over time. Declines in grade “A” dairy farm numbers will be partially offset by increases in farmstead cheese operations and changing regulatory requirements.

Factors Impacting

Program requirements may change whenever federal model programs change or in response to state or industry specific concerns. Grade “A” regulatory requirements change to some degree every other year because the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipper conference meets every two years to consider changing the program requirements. There is a continuing need to update the Grade “A” regulations every other year or so. Other regulations need updating less frequently but must be reviewed every three years.

Changing consumer demand impacts the demand for advice and assistance, especially in frozen desserts, such as frozen yogurt and ice cream shops mixing candy and other treats into product for customers to enjoy.

Expansion of farmstead cheese making places great demands for advice and assistance on the Dairy Services Program. This includes animal production management, milk quality management, cheese processing, and process techniques to manufacture safe and wholesome cheeses.


 

 

The program is supported by the general fund.

Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium1,100,14101,100,1410
Changes to Initial Appropriation0000
 
TitleFile Type
 

Pesticide Regulation and Applicator Certification [55704]

This service area provides regulatory oversight of the production, sale and use of pesticides in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Services include:

  • Training and certification of pesticide applicators
  • Registration of pesticide products
  • Licensing of pesticide businesses
  • Administration of the provisions of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, the Virginia Pesticide Control Act, and the regulations pursuant to the Virginia Pesticide Control Act.
  • Coordinating the disposal of unwanted pesticides and the recycling of pesticide containers
  • Educating Virginians about safe pesticide practices
 

This service area directly aligns with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' mission of promoting the economic growth and development of Virginia agriculture, providing consumer protection, and encouraging environmental stewardship.

 
Description of Major Products and Services

Applicator certification: This service area certifies individuals wishing to become pesticide applicators. The testing process relies extensively on computer-based exams available at all Department of Motor Vehicles customer service centers throughout the Commonwealth.

Registration of pesticides: This service area registers pesticide products intended for sale in Virginia. The service area also processes requests for special need registrations through the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Business licensing: This service area licenses pesticide businesses in order to ensure the proper sale, distribution, and application pesticides.

Applicator training: In conjunction with the Virginia Cooperative Extension and private industry, this service area develops training and recertification courses for pesticide applicators.

Enforcement: This service area conducts application firm, producer establishment, and marketplace inspections; and investigates consumer complaints involving pesticides.

Education: This service area coordinates training of pesticide applicators and handlers regarding proper personal protective measures.

Anticipated Changes

Demand for program services are expected to grow as the population increases, economy improves, and industry grows.

Factors Impacting
None.
 

The program is supported by the Pesticide Control Fund and federal grants.

Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium03,325,62003,325,620
Changes to Initial Appropriation0000
 
TitleFile Type
 

Regulation of Feed, Seed, and Fertilizer Products [55706]

This service area protects consumers from inferior products, fraud, deception, and illegal practices in the marketplace. Services include:

•Inspection and testing of feed, seed, animal remedies, fertilizer and liming materials
•Operation of the seed program including the seed laboratory
•Inspection of manufacturing facilities and processes
•Investigation or referral of consumer complaints
•Licensing, permitting, registration, and bonding of businesses, individuals, and products

 

This service area directly aligns with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ mission of providing consumer protection.

 
Description of Major Products and Services

Inspection and testing of commercial feed, animal remedies, fertilizer and liming materials: The service area inspects manufacturing facilities and retailers of agriculturally related products and retrieves samples for testing to ensure that farmers and consumers receive truthfully labeled products. Inspection of commercial feed mills ensure that these products are consistently manufactured and stored in a manner that prevents dangerous contamination and degradation. Manufacturing processes are also evaluated to measure compliance with the Current Good Manufacturing Process program.

Administration of the Virginia Seed Law: This service area seeks to ensure that seed sold in Virginia meets federal and state requirements for purity, germination, kind and variety. Staff in the Seed Analysis Laboratory test seed for prohibited or noxious weed seeds that could threaten Virginia’s agriculture and the environment.

Licensing, permitting, registration, and bonding: This service area protects customers from unscrupulous business activities, protects the assets of agricultural producers, and regulates the activities of individuals involved in sales, production, manufacture, and truth in labeling on regulated agricultural products.

Complaint investigation and referral: This service area investigates all consumer complaints related to agricultural inputs, including animal illness or death, crop failures, as well as unfair, deceptive or illegal business practices.

Anticipated Changes

Demand for services is expected to increase in response to growth in the industry, population, and economy.

Factors Impacting

None.

 

The program is supported by the general fund and license and fee revenue.

Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium520,9431,733,347520,9431,733,347
Changes to Initial Appropriation0000
 
TitleFile Type
 

Charitable Gaming Regulation and Enforcement [55907]

This service area promotes the integrity of charitable gaming activities in the Commonwealth. Services include:
* Registration of organizations that conduct charitable gaming, bingo callers, bingo managers, charitable gaming suppliers and manufacturers of electronic pull-tab systems.
* Inspection and training of organizations and individuals involved in charitable gaming
* Auditing of charitable gaming organizations, suppliers, and manufacturers of electronic pull-tab systems to ensure compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements, including financial reporting and use-of-proceeds
* Investigation of consumer complaints and violations of gaming statute and regulations.

 

This service area directly aligns with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' mission of providing consumer protection.

 
Description of Major Products and Services

Registration: This service area permits charitable gaming organizations, licenses manufacturers of electronic pull-tab systems and suppliers, and registers bingo managers and bingo callers.

Inspection: This service area conducts on-site inspections of charitable gaming organizations and provides training for charitable gaming organizations regarding the conduct of gaming.

Audit: This service area conducts audits and financial reviews of charitable gaming organizations and conducts compliance reviews of charitable gaming manufacturers of electronic pull-tab systems and suppliers.

Investigation: This service area investigates citizen complaints and alleged violations of the charitable gaming statute or regulations.

Anticipated Changes

The implementation of online applications for permitting, licensing, and financial reporting will improve the delivery of services.

Factors Impacting

The economic downturn and the aging of the bingo gaming population have contributed to reductions in gross revenues by permitted organizations..

 

The program is supported by the general fund.  Audit, administrative, and permit fees are deposited to the general fund, in accordance with the Appropriation Act.

Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium1,520,44701,520,4470
Changes to Initial Appropriation00-300,0000
 
TitleFile Type
 

General Management and Direction [59901]

This service area includes the Commissioner’s Office and other support offices that work with the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, and staff to provide the executive direction and philosophy for the operation of the department and to support the programs, initiatives, and direction of the Governor’s Office and the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry. In cooperation with the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, the Commissioner's Office serves as the liaison with the Virginia congressional delegation, Congress, and federal agencies on matters affecting Virginia agriculture. It also provides assistance to the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry in the development of agricultural and consumer protection policy. Specific component offices within the Commissioner's Office include the Human Resource Office, Office of Internal Audit, Office of Communications, and the Office of Policy, Planning and Research.

The service area also provides administrative and support services of a technical nature to all programs of the agency and works with the Commissioner's Office to ensure agency operations are conducted in compliance with state law, policy, and guidance from the Governor’s Office and the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry. These services are provided through the Office of Administrative and Financial Services, which includes these offices: Budget, Finance, Facilities Management and Capital Outlay, Purchasing and Support Services, and Information Systems.

In order to most efficiently manage expenditures for the department, the agency budgets for certian expenses centrally. Expenses budgeted in this service area include facility operation and maintenance; insurances; telecommunications; program, laboratory, and general office supplies, postage; rent; Payroll Service Bureau, and computer systems (including payments to the Virginia Information Technologies Agency).

This service area includes the positions and related resources for the Division Director’s Offices in the agency’s three program divisions – Animal and Food Industry Services, Consumer Protection, and Marketing and Development. Because the division directors provide general management and direction to all of the programs in each division (involving a significant amount of administrative work), the expenses of the offices are budgeted in this service area as opposed to being prorated among the twenty-one related service areas.

 

Executive direction and administrative support is given to the operational divisions to provide them with a framework and the necessary resources to meet the agency’s mission. The Agricultural Stewardship Unit within the Office of Policy, Planning, and Research is directly involved in environmental stewardship.

 
Description of Major Products and Services

Executive direction and philosophy for the operation of the Department.

Publications, news releases, print media, and broadcast media to increase public awareness of agency programs and services.

Human Resource Services to the agency, including recruitment and selection, classification and compensation, employee benefits, employee relations, employee development and training, and equal employment opportunity.

Audit and consulting services for agency management and operational areas.

Analyses of current and proposed state and federal laws, policies, programs and regulations related to agriculture and consumer protection for agency program managers.

Review and promulgation of state regulations pertaining to agriculture and consumer protection to meet the requirements of the Administrative Process Act.

Response to citizens' requests to the agency for information under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

Direction and coordination of the activities of the Division of Animal and Food Industry Services and the State Veterinarian's Office, the Division of Consumer Protection, and the Division of Marketing.

Support Services provided to agency operational areas that include: budgeting; financial accounting, processing and reporting; capital outlay and facilitiesmanagement; information systems; purchasing; support services (mail room, print shop, fleet management, shipping and receiving; records management and telecommunications), and emergency services.

Development of agency policies and procedures to assure compliance with statewide policies, regulations, and procedures, and interpretation of such for directors and managers.

Liaison services between the agency and central agencies (Department of Planning and Budget, Department of Accounts, Virginia Information Technologies Agency, Department of General Services, Department of Human Resource Management, Virginia Retirement System, and Virginia Department of Emergency Management).

Process and respond to complaints to the agency under the Agricultural Stewardship Act.

 

Anticipated Changes

None.

Factors Impacting

Increasing demands such as central agency requirements and federal grants management continue to burden the limited personal services resources available in administration.

 
Biennial Budget
2017
General Fund
2017
Nongeneral Fund
2018
General Fund
2018
Nongeneral Fund
Initial Appropriation for the Biennium7,968,8571,472,0177,889,8191,472,017
Changes to Initial Appropriation-30,0000-123,3820
 
TitleFile Type