North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner

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In the U.S. state of North Dakota, the Agriculture Commissioner, formerly known as the Commissioner, is an elected official who heads the North Dakota Department of Agriculture. The present commissioner is Doug Goehring, a Republican.

The office is a high-profile position, as agriculture is key to the state economy. The Commissioner of Agriculture is also a member of the North Dakota Industrial Commission, a three-member panel also including the Governor and Attorney General. The Industrial Commission oversees North Dakota's state-owned enterprises.

History[edit]

Originally, the Department of Agriculture was combined with the North Dakota Department of Labor and was collectively called the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and Labor until 1966 when the two agencies split. The Agriculture Commissioner's term was then extended from two years to four, and was placed on a party affiliated ballot, while the Commissioner of Labor was placed on a no party ballot.[1] The title of the office was changed in 1996 from Commissioner of Agriculture to Agriculture Commissioner.[2] In its fairly short existence, the office has become North Dakota's only statewide office to be held longer by the state's Democratic party than the Republican Party; three of the five commissioners were Democrats.

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