Agriculture, Department of

Originally the Bureau of Agriculture of the pre-Confederation Province of Canada, and now called the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the department was established by an Act of Parliament in 1868 to concentrate on the urgent need of the time to control livestock diseases and prevent their entry into Canada. The department is responsible for federal policies relating to agriculture and food, including grading and inspection, seed certification, regulations on pesticides and fertilizers, market development programs, farmer assistance, scientific research and dissemination of information. In addition, the department oversees race track betting in Canada. The minister is responsible for initiating and administering all federal legislation relating to AGRICULTURE and for operations of the Canadian Dairy Commission, Canadian Grain Commission and National Farm Products Council. The Research Branch, located on the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa, is the principal research organization serving Canadian agriculture. The branch operates several research stations across Canada to serve areas of varied soil and climatic conditions.