Agency History:

The State Board of Stock Commissioners, predecessor agency of the Nevada Department of Agriculture was created by the 1915 Nevada Legislature. Chapter 268 of the Nevada Statutes (later changed to NRS 561) established the State Board of Stock Commissioners, consisting of three members, all experienced stockmen, appointed by the governor. The Board had control of all matters pertaining to the cattle, horse, and hog industries. Sheep were regulated by a newly established State Board of Sheep Commissioners.

The Commissioners, in conjunction with the State Veterinary Control Service department of the University of Nevada, adopted on behalf of the state, rules and regulations of the U.S Bureau of Animal Industry related to control and suppression of diseases in stock. They were given the power to inspect, quarantine, and condemn cattle, horses, and hogs affected by infections or contagious diseases. To carry out this work, the Commission was empowered to appoint inspectors as needed who were paid from a Livestock Inspection Fund, created by assessments from county taxes.

In addition to disease control, the Commission was authorized to offer and pay bounties for killing livestock predators-coyotes, wildcats/lynxes, and mountain lions.

The State Department of Agriculture as it exists today was created in 1961. The Board of Agricultural Commissioners consists of eleven members appointed by the governor, all from different aspects of Nevada's agricultural industry. The duties of the board members are to:

-Report to the Governor and Legislature on all relevant matters,

-Advise the Governor and Legislature of recommended policies concerning livestock and agriculture,

-Establish policies of the Department

-Adopt regulations as necessary and carry out provisions of laws and programs administered by the Department.

The Department is located in Sparks, Nevada and is housed in a state of the art facility that was constructed in 2009. The building is named in honor of Assemblyman John Marvel and his wife Willie Marvel. The Marvels were staunch advocates for all forms of Nevada agriculture for more than 60 years.

The Department of Agriculture was reorganized by the 2013 Legislature. There are five divisions: Animal Industry, Plant Industry, Consumer Equitability, Food and Nutrition, and Administration. The bulk of the Department's funding comes from user assessments and administrative money included in various grants and other federal programs.