OF THE STATE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE.
AN ACT TO PROVIDE AND ESTABLISH A STATE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE AND TO PRESCRIBE ITS POWERS AND DUTIES.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:
SECTION 1 That when and as soon as this Act becomes a law, the Governor of, this State shall appoint three Commissioners of Agriculture, by and with the consent of a majority of all the members elected to the Senate, one of whom shall reside in each County Residence, of the State, and one of whom shall be of different political faith from the other two, and one of whom shall be appointed and commissioned for the term of one year, another one of whom shall be appointed and commissioned for the term of two years, and the remaining one of whom shall be appointed and commissioned for the term of three years, which said Commissioners and their successors in office are hereby made a department, to be known as the State Board of Agriculture, to continue and remain such for the term of eight years from the date of the qualifications of the Commissioners first appointed, and to remain and continue such Board after such term or period of years has expired and until said Board shall be abolished by the General Assembly. The successors to the Commissioners first appointed shall each be appointed for terms of three years, when and as the terms of the first Commissioners expire. The Commissioners shall hold office until their successors become duly qualified. If any vacancy occurs in the office of Commissioner of Agriculture before the expiration of any term of office hereby prescribed, each vacancy shall be filled by appointment by the Governor for the remainder of the term; provided, however, that in ease such vacancy shall occur when the Senate is not in session such vacancy shall be filled by the Governor without confirmation by the Senate until the end of the next session of the Senate.
SECTION 2. The Commissioners of Agriculture shall each receive as compensation for their services the sum of four dollars per day and actual traveling expenses, provided they shall not exceed twenty days in each year and an annual appropriation of one thousand dollars annually, to be paid quarterly by the State Treasurer out of any moneys appropriated by the General Assembly for said Board.
At all meetings of said Board a quorum for the transaction of any and all business that may come before the Board shall consist of any two of the Commissioners. The Board shall meet at least once in every three months at such place or places as they may select.
The first meeting of the Board shall be held within ten days after the qualification of the Commissioners, and at said meeting the Board shall elect one of its members as President.
SECTION 3. The Board of Agriculture shall have and possess the power to abate, suppress, eradicate and prevent, by such means as shall be prescribed and provided by law or by rule, order or regulation of said Board, the San Jose Scale, peach yellows, pear blight and all other contagious and infectious and injuriously dangerous diseases of fruit trees, plants, vegetables, cereals, horses, cattle and other farm animals; to devise such plans for securing immigration to this State of industrious and useful settlers as it may consider advisable, and to execute such plans in the manner prescribed by law; to make and adopt rules for the government of the Board and the same to change, alter and modify, from time to time, as the Board may wish; to employ and discharge such inspectors, officers, employees, agents and servants as in its opinion may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act; provided, however, that the remuneration or wages to be paid to any such inspectors, officers, employees or agents in any year shall not, together with the other expenses of the Board, exceed the appropriation annually made to the Board by the General Assembly in and for that year; to wake rules for the proper government of all inspectors, officers, employees, agents and servants who may be employed by the Board.
SECTION 4. Tha0n order to abate and prevent, eradicate and exterminate the diseases of' fruit trees known as the San Jose scale, the peach yellows, the pear blight, and all other injuriously dangerous
insect pests and plant diseases which may appear in this State, it shall be the duty of the Board of Agriculture to seek out and suppress in the manner herein provided all the injurious insect pests and diseases hereinbefore mentioned and also any new diseases or pests destructive to the agricultural and horticultural interests of the State, and also to conduct experiments when necessary to accomplish that end; and upon knowledge of the existence of any of said diseases, or any new disease or insect pest in any of the fruit trees, plants, vines, shrubs and grains of this State, to mark or tag in some conspicuous way all such trees, plants, vines, shrubs or grains, and to notify in writing the owner or owners thereof or the tenant in possession of the premises in which the said trees, vines, plants, shrubs or grains are found of the existence therein of said disease, or any new disease as aforesaid, and to prescribe the proper treatment and remedies therefor, and should such owner or owners of such infested trees, vines, plants, shrubs or grains, or the tenant or tenants in possession of the premises whereon said trees, plants, vines, shrubs or grains are found, neglect, fail or refuse within ten days after receiving the notice aforesaid to apply the remedy or remedies prescribed by the Board of Agriculture and also 1/3 the manner and at the times as ordered and directed by the said Board, then and in such case it shall be the duty of the said Board, its agents or servants to cause the remedy or remedies prescribed to be applied at the expense of the owner or owners of such infested trees, plants, vines, shrubs or grains, and said Board shall have the power, when it deems it necessary, to cause the trees, plants, vines, shrubs or grains so infested as aforesaid to be destroyed at the expense of the owner or owners thereof, or the tenant or tenants in possession as aforesaid, and the loss to fall upon such owner or owners, tenant or tenants as aforesaid. The said Board of Agriculture its agents, officers, or servants, shall treat or have treated at the expense of the owner or owners in order to prevent the spread or dissemination of the aforesaid insects or diseases, or any new ones which may appear, any and all suspicious trees, vines, shrubs, plants or grains found to be in a dangerous proximity to those infested as aforesaid.
SECTION 5. That should any owner or owners of any trees, vines, shrubs, plants or grains infested as aforesaid, or the tenant or tenants in possession of the premises whereon any such trees, vines, shrubs or grains are found, or should any owner or owners of any trees, vines, shrubs, plants or grains in dangerous proximity to those infested as aforesaid, fail, neglect or refuse after thirty days’ notice by said Board to pay all of the expenses incurred by the said Board in treating or in destroying such infested trees, plants, shrubs, vines or grains, or those in dangerous proximity thereto, he or they shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not less than double the amount of the expenses incurred by the said Board in treating or destroying the trees, plants, vines, shrubs, or grains aforesaid, and shall also be liable in a civil suit to be brought in the name of the " State Board of Agriculture," for the recovery of such expenses, together with all costs of suit.
Said action may be brought before any Justice of the Peace of the county wherein such trees, plants, vines, shrubs or grains mentioned herein are found, or in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware in any county. The right of appeal shall be the same as in other civil causes.
SECTION 6. That in order to accomplish the purposes of this Act, the said Board of Agriculture, its officers, employees, agents and servants, are hereby authorized to enter upon any public premises, parks, cemeteries or other premises, or upon any land of any person or person firm or firms, corporation or corporations within this State for the purpose of inspecting, examining, destroying, treating- or experimenting upon the insects and diseases aforesaid.
SECTION 7. That it shall be the duty of the Board of Agriculture to send at least one of its officers, agents, or employees at least once a year into each county of the State, for the purpose of examining and determining thereby the healthfulness and general condition of the horticultural and agricultural interests.
SECTION 8. That the Board of Agriculture, whenever it shall receive reliable information, or shall otherwise know, that any dangerously injurious insect, pest or disease exists in any tree, vine, shrub, plant or grain, anywhere in the State, shall, in addition to the other duties, acts and things herein prescribed to be done- and performed by it, warn the farmers and other persons residing in the Hundred in which any such insect, pest or disease exists, and also persons living near the infested places of the nature of such insect, pest or disease, and the localities where it exists, and shall also furnish to the said farmers and said other persons, any, and all information and knowledge the said Board may have or be able to procure, of the remedies to be applied to suppress, abate and eradicate
the said insects, pests or diseases.
SECTION 9. That the said Board of Agriculture shall examine and inspect, or cause to be examined and inspected, at least once every year, at such time as it shall deem it best, any and all nurseries of trees, vines, shrubs, plants, grafts, cuttings and bulls in this State, subject to the aforesaid insects, pests and diseases, and if found apparently free, so far as can be determined by inspection from the insects, pests and diseases aforesaid, to make and issue and give to the owner or owners or persons in charge of the said nurseries, a certificate of inspection in such firm as said Board may prescribe, certifying that such nurseries or premises have been examined and inspected and are apparently free from all insects, pests and diseases dangerously injurious to nursery stock. If any of the said insect, pests or diseases shall be found in any nursery or orchard, or on any premises within tile State where said nursery stock is grown, tile said Board of Agriculture, its officers, agents, or servants, shall cause to be destroyed or treated as hereinbefore provided, such portion of such nursery stock, as, in the opinion of said Board may be necessary, and shall release all other stock grown upon said premises, and shall make and issue a certificate of inspection to the effect and in the manner as hereinbefore prescribed; and, if such infested nursery stock be destroyed as herein provided, then the owner or owners shall pay the costs thereof; and if he or they refuse or neglect to pay the same, it shall be collected as provided in Section 5 of this Act.
SECTION 10. That it shall be unlawful for any nurseryman, broker, agent, dealer or other person, to sell or offer for sale, or ship, send out, or give away, by mail, express, freight or otherwise, out certificate, any trees, vines, plants, shrubs, buds, grass cuttings, from any nursery or orchard mentioned in this Act, or any premises within this State where said nursery stock is grown without accompanying the same with a copy of the certificate aforesaid, printed upon a tag or label not easily destroyed, which shall be firmly attached or fastened in a conspicuous position upon each car load, box, bale, or package so sold or offered for sale, or shipped, sent out or delivered.
SECTION 11. That, if any nurseryman, agent, broker, dealer or other person shall sell or offer for sale or deliver within this State ship, transport or send out of this State, to any other State or Territory of the United States, or foreign possession thereof, or to the District of Columbia, any trees, plants, shrubs, vines, grafts, cuttings and buds, commonly known nursery stock, subject to the insects, pests and diseases in this mentioned, without attaching a copy of the certificate aforesaid, or shall deface, or mutilate, or destory said certificate, or wrongfully attach a certificate, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall forfeit and pay a fine of not more than five hundred dollars nor less than one hundred dollars, besides the costs of prosecution, or be imprisoned for a term of not less than one month nor more than one year.
SECTION 12. That all trees, plants, vines, shrubs, buds, grafts and cuttings, commonly known as nursery stock, grown or handled series by each and every nurseryman in this State, and subject to the aforesaid insects, pests and diseases shall be fumigated or treated by the nurseryman, owning the same in the manner, method and way prescribed by the said Board of Agriculture, which said Board is hereby authorized and empowered to make and adopt rules and regulations, and the same to alter, change and modify from time to time, as, in its judgment is best, for the proper fumigation or treatment of infected trees, plants, vines, shrubs, buds, grafts, and cuttings. If any person shall willfully and knowingly violate any of said rules, he shall lie deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon rules, penalty, conviction thereof shall forfeit and pay a fine of twenty-five dollars for each offense.
SECTION 13. That when any trees, plants, shrubs, vines, buds, grafts, or cuttings, commonly known as nursery stock, are shipped, sent, or mailed into this State to any nurseryman, broker, dealer, agent, or other person in this State, every carload, bale, box, or package thereof shall be plainly labeled on the outside with the name of the consignor and the name of the consignee, and shall have attached or fastened thereto a certificate showing that the contents attached thereof have been examined by a duly qualified State or Government officer and found apparently free from all insect and fungous diseases dangerously injurious to nursery stock.
SECTION 14. That whenever any trees, plants, vines, shrubs, buds, grafts, or cuttings are shipped or sent into this State, without the aforesaid certificate plainly attached or fastened on the outside of each carload, box, bale, or package the same shall be and they are hereby made, deemed and considered public nuisances, to be abated in the manner hereinafter provided, and the agent of the transportation company or person or firm receiving the same shall not deliver said nursery stock to anyone, but shall at once notify the said Board of Agriculture of such nuisances. The said Board shall thereupon institute proceedings before any Justice of the Peace to abate such nuisances. The said Justice of the Peace shall summon all parties in interest before him, if' they be known and can be summoned; if not, then such of them as can be summoned, to show cause why such nuisances shall not be abated ; and at the trial or hearing of said cause, if' the said Justice of the Peace shall determine that the provisions of this Act have been violated, he shall order and direct that the nuisances be abated by the return of such nursery stock by the agent aforesaid receiving the same to the consignor, unless such consignor, his agent, or the consignee, or his agent shall at his or their own expense, forthwith have the nursery stock aforesaid inspected and examined by a duly authorized officer or employee of said Board of agriculture, and said officer or employee shall certify to said Justice of the Peace that such nursery stock is apparently free from the diseases mentioned in this Act, and tag every such carload, box, bale and package so inspected with his certificate; but, if' said agent, consignor or consignee or other person above mentioned shall fail or neglect to have said inspection made, or fail to return such carload, box, bale, or package, then said Justice shall order said nuisances to be abated by totally consuming by fire the contents of every such carload, box, bale or package by the officers, agents or employees of said Board of Agriculture. No action shall be brought by anyone to recover any damages for any loss sustained in carrying out the foregoing provisions, and any and all loss shall be born by the person suffering the same.
SECTION 15. That if any agent of a transportation company, firm or person shall knowingly receive a carload, box, bale or package of trees, plants, shrubs, vines, buds or cuttings without a certificate attached as hereinbefore provided, and shall fail to immediately notify the said Board of Agriculture as hereinbefore provided, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall forfeit and pay a fine of Fifty dollars for each offense, besides the costs of prosecution.
SECTION 16. That if any nurseryman, dealer or agent shall sell, ship or deliver any trees, vines, plants, shrubs, grafts or cuttings into or in this State which are infested with any of the aforesaid diseases, and which upon inspection by the said Board of Agriculture, or its officers, or agents, are found to be so infested, the said nurseryman, dealer or agent shall forfeit the value of such nursery stock and shall not collect or receive the same from the purchaser or consignee ; and if the purchaser or consignee has theretofore paid for said stock, either in whole or in part, he shall have a right of action against such nurseryman, dealer or agent to recover the sum or sums so paid, in an action on the case. All trees, vines, plants, shrubs, grafts, and cuttings, so shipped, sold or delivered as aforesaid, and inspected and found infested as aforesaid, shall be and be deemed public nuisances, and shall be abated in the same way and manner as provided for in Section 14 of this Act.
SECTION 17. The said Board of Agriculture shall submit annually to the Governor a written report of its inspections, experiments and investigations and a full account of the expenditures together with such other matters as may be deemed advisable by the said Board, and with such recommendations as the said Board shall consider proper to make, which the Governor shall transmit to the General Assembly at each session thereof; and which said report shall be printed in pamphlet form for distribution in such number as the General Assembly shall direct.
SECTION 18. That all moneys appropriated by law to the said Board of Agriculture to carry out the provisions of this Act except the salaries of the Commissioners shall be paid by the State Treasurer to the president of the said Board upon the presentation to the State Treasurer by President of a bond for the sum of three thousand dollars, executed by him, and by good and sufficient sureties, to be approved by the Governor conditioned for the faithful disbursement of said moneys according to law. The said President shall control, handle and pay off such moneys.
SCTION 19. That it shall be the duty of the said Board of Agriculture, to encourage and invite desirable immagration to this State, and for this purpose the said Board may prepare, publish and circulate circulars or pamphlets setting forth the agricultural, mechanical and other resources of the State, provided, that the amount annually expended under authority of this section shall not exceed the sum of one hundred dollars.
SECTION 20. That any number of the said Board of Agriculture, who shall be guilty of neglect of duty, or of the violation of any of the provisions of this Act, shall, upon conviction thereof, before any justice of the Peace of this State, be fined for each offense, an amount of not less than twenty-five nor more than fifty dollars, to ether with costs of each suit.
SECTION 21. That all fines collected under the provisions of this Act, shall be paid to the President of the said Board of Agriculture, by the officers collecting or receiving the same, within thirty use of, days after such collection or receipt, which shall be used by the said President of said Board in defraying the expenses of the Board.
Approved April 6, A.D. 1899.