The mission of the Delaware Department of Agriculture is to sustain and promote the viability of food, fiber, and agricultural industries in Delaware through quality services that protect and enhance the environment, health and welfare of the general public. The agency includes the following sections:
Agriculture Compliance provides services to ensure the accuracy of label guarantees for animal feeds, pet foods, fertilizers, soil conditioners, and liming materials. These services include reviews of product labels, marketplace inspections, and laboratory analysis. Laboratory testing services are also provided to the public for samples of animal manures, feeds, and fertilizers.
Delaware Standardbred Breeders' Fund oversees and maintains records and funds pertaining to the breeding of Standardbred horses in a state racing program and promotes Standardbred activities and sales of state bred yearlings.
Food Products Inspection oversees and inspects all meat and poultry products to protect the consumer from food borne diseases. Food Products Inspection plays a vital role for agriculture in support of the animal and vegetable segments of our state's agricultural economy. State inspectors provide inspection services for both State and USDA Federal red-meat slaughter and processing plants. The objective is to reduce residues, pathogens, and contaminants in the food supply and reduce the risk of food-borne illness due to intentional sabotage of the food supply in support of homeland security. Commodity Grading Inspectors provide grading verification for poultry and eggs as well as grading services for Delaware's fruit and vegetable growers and brokers.
The Delaware Forest Service provides a wide range of services to help Delawareans conserve, protect and enhance their forest resources. In addition to managing Delaware’s three State Forests, the Forest Service administers an Urban and Community Forestry Program to assist communities and homeowners with urban forestry projects, provides technical assistance to forest landowners, and administers the Forestland Preservation Program. The Forest Service also offers Smokey Bear, Project Learning Tree and other education programs. Professional foresters provide financial and technical assistance to communities for urban forestry projects. In addition, foresters diagnose forest pest problems and recommend treatments; develop woodland management programs; conduct forest inventories and inspections; provide information on selecting timber buyers; supervise harvesting, reforestation, and timber stand improvement activities; and assist with wildfire suppression and training programs.
The Delaware Harness Racing Commission regulates this sport by upholding the rules and regulations of harness racing as set by the Delaware Code.
Information & Education serves as the primary contact for public and media inquiries, coordinates a public speaker’s bureau, manages the Department’s website and offers a variety of agriculture education programs.
Aglands Preservation and Planning promotes farmland preservation through the Delaware Agriculture Lands Preservation Program.
Marketing promotes Delaware's agriculture products via advertising, publications and special events, providing growers, food processors and agribusinesses with marketing assistance. They supply leadership and expertise in local, regional, national and international marketing services for agricultural commodities and products, providing business opportunities and establishing communication channels for Delaware farmers, companies and industry associations.
Nutrient Management manages activities involving the generation and application of nutrients in order to help maintain and improve the quality of Delaware's ground and surface waters and to help meet or exceed federally mandated water quality standards, in the interest of the public welfare.
Pesticides regulates pesticide distribution, use storage, sales and disposal, and conducts public recycling programs for empty commercial pesticide containers. It focuses on regulation of products used to control pests (weeds, insects, bacteria, fungi, rodents), the prevention of adverse human health effects from pesticide exposure, and the protection of the environment, animals and property from pesticide injury or damage.
Plant Industries prevents the introduction, establishment and spread of plant and honeybee pests and performs grain and seed inspections. It serves farmers, beekeepers, nursery growers and dealers, fruit growers, university and industry researchers, grain elevator operators, consumers and agricultural product exporters.
Poultry & Animal Health protects domestic animals and poultry from the spread of infectious diseases, including those transmissible to humans. It also oversees the Delaware Spay/Neuter and Delaware Animal Response programs.
The Thoroughbred Racing Commission regulates this sport by upholding the rules and regulations of thoroughbred racing as set by Delaware code.
Weights & Measures safeguards the public against fraud during transactions that require weighing, measuring and or counting, including gas pumps, grocery scales and home fuel delivery trucks, and also inspects food labels for accurate weight and count.