Thirteen employees work for this county agency out of a commercial building on Novato Boulevard. Stacy Carlsen,…More Marin's Agricultural Commissioner, leads a team that monitors ag production and regulations in a county that, in terms of geography, is more rural than urban. Other than the concentrated population base along the Highway 101 corridor, Marin is a county of rolling hills, ranches and farms extending to the edge of the Pacific Ocean.
The department's mission is to ensure equity in the marketplace by promoting and protecting agriculture, protecting environmental quality and the health and welfare of Marin residents. Programs within the department include farmers market management, pest prevention and integrated pest management, pesticide use enforcement, weed management, product quality inspections, price verification, organic certification and livestock protection. Through a statewide task force, the department continues to monitor Sudden Oak Death, an infestation of pathogens that have decimated oak trees in West Marin.
The gross value of all ag production in Marin was $63.3 million in 2008, with milk accounting for 56.2 percent of crop values. Farmers and ranchers milk cows, beef cattle, sheep and lambs, poultry and other animals, and the top crops include vegetables, fruit including wine grapes, nursery crops and aquaculture, such as oysters from Tomales Bay.
The weights and measures program protects consumer interests and ensures that honesty and integrity prevail when products are sold by weight, measure, count or time. Inspectors test scales in stores, livestock scales, vehicle scales, gas pumps, pricing scanners, fabric and cordage meters, water meters and labels on packaged products from Marin.