§19-1-4. Duties of commissioner.

The Commissioner of Agriculture shall perform the following duties:

(a) Devise means of advancing the agricultural interests of the state and, in the performance of such duty, he or she shall have authority to call upon any state department, or officer of the state or county, to cooperate in promoting the agricultural interests of the state. It shall be the duty of any such department, or officer, upon request of the commissioner to render the assistance desired;

(b) Promote and encourage the organization of such societies and associations as have for their object the improvement and development of the state’s agricultural, horticultural and kindred interests, especially in production, processing for market, and distribution;

(c) Conduct cooperative work with the United States Department of Agriculture in inspecting and determining the grade and condition of farm produce at collecting centers, receiving centers, and shipping points;

(d) Induce the investment of capital in, and immigration into, this state by the dissemination of information relative to the soil, climate, health, natural resources, market opportunities, and advantages of the state;

(e) Investigate and report upon the kinds, conditions, and extent of the mineral products of the state and their value;

(f) Take charge of the museum of the Department of Agriculture, collect, preserve, and exhibit therein specimens of agricultural, horticultural, and kindred products, products of the forests, minerals, flora, and fauna of the state;

(g) Publish and distribute, from time to time, such reports and bulletins concerning agriculture, horticulture, and kindred subjects as may be of value to the farmers of the state and, as conditions may demand, publish a handbook giving the resources of the several counties of the state, the varieties of soil and products, both mineral and vegetable, and the adaptability of the different sections of the state to the different branches of agriculture, horticulture, and kindred interests;

(h) Submit a biennial report to the Governor and Legislature containing such information as to the operations of the department as may be helpful to the agricultural interests of the state, together with an itemized statement of all receipts and disbursements during the biennial period covered thereby and giving the name of every person employed during such period, the time employed, and the amount paid each employee;

(i) Perform such other duties and exercise such other powers as are provided in this chapter and by general law;

(j) Enter into an agreement with the Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Assistance to transfer without consideration all or part of the approximately 17 acres of Department of Agriculture property in Beckley, West Virginia, located adjacent to the Jackie Withrow Hospital which was formerly known as Pinecrest Hospital, for construction of a veterans skilled nursing facility;

(k) Propose rules, including regulatory standards, for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of §29A-3-1 et seq. of this code for the purpose of carrying out the requirements of this chapter;

(l) Cooperate with the State Resiliency Office to the fullest extent practicable to assist that office in fulfilling its duties;

(m) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, transfer to the Village of Barboursville, without consideration, all the approximately 250 acres of land known as the Huntington State Hospital institutional farm, located at Barboursville, Cabell County, for the purpose of providing public services; and

(n) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, transfer to the City of Ellenboro, without consideration, all the lots owned by the Department of Agriculture located in the City of Ellenboro, for public services.