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Pennsylvania State Archives


The Department of Agriculture was created in 1895 to encourage the development of agriculture, horticulture, forestry and related industries. A State Board of Agriculture, which had been established in 1876 to investigate subjects relating to improvements in agriculture, continued to function along with the Department in an advisory capacity. Legislation passed in 1919 and 1923 abolished the State Board of Agriculture, the Agricultural Commission and the Livestock Sanitary Board and consolidated regulatory activities pertaining to agriculture within the Department. Functions relating to forestry had been transferred to the Department of Forestry in 1901.

The Department of Agriculture is responsible for promoting the efficient marketing of farm products and dealing with appropriate investigatory and service problems. The Department works to control animal and plant diseases as well as insect pests, and to safeguard the public against impure or misrepresented foods, fertilizers and pesticides. The State Farm Products Show Commission and the State Harness Racing Commission are administrative commissions within the Department of Agriculture.

A More Detailed History of This Department is available.

Secretary of Agriculture

Bureau of Farm Show

Bureau of Farmland Protection

Bureau of Government Donated Food

Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services

Bureau of Animal Industry

Bureau of Plant Industry

Bureau of Markets

Division of Crop Reporting

Division of Zoology

Harness Racing Commission

Horse Racing Commission

Plant Pathology Division

Press Office

State Agricultural Land Preservation Board

State Board of Agriculture

State Conservation Commission

State Soil and Water Conservation Commission

Last processing update: 9/22/2014, acc. #6622

PA State Archives Hours, Directions, & Fees Research Topics Finding Aids for Collections Land Records