A recently filed bill would realign the manner in which the members of the Arkansas State Plant Board are appointed to the agency. House Bill 1210 (HB 1210), sponsored by Rep. David Hillman (R-Almyra), would amend how individuals are appointed to the State Plant Board.
Arkansas Code Title 2, Subtitle 2, Subchapter 2 governs the State Plant Board, its composition and how members are chosen. The board is composed of 18 members, who include academics, agriculture industry professionals, farmers and others.
Hillman’s bill, if passed, would increase the number of appointments the governor makes to the State Plant Board. Under state law, the governor makes certain appointments to the board, while industry associations and organizations elect certain members. The bill would change the law so that associations would make two recommendations to the governor for these appointments.
The Arkansas Code allows governors to appoint seven members of the board. These members include one representative of the Arkansas fertilizer and cotton oil mills, a practical rice grower, a practical cotton grower, a livestock industry representative, a forage industry representative, and two farmers. State law also requires the heads of the University of Arkansas College of Agriculture’s entomology and plant pathology departments to sit on the board.
Under the new bill, the Arkansas governor would appoint a practical horticulturist, an active nurseryman, a practical seed grower, a pest control operator, a seed dealer, an Arkansas Bureau of Standards representative, a pesticide manufacturer, an Arkansas Agricultural Aviation Association representative, and an Arkansas Forestry Association representative. These board positions are currently elected from the following associations (in the order they appear above): the Arkansas State Horticultural Society, the Arkansas Green Industry Association, the Arkansas Seed Growers Association, the Arkansas Pest Management Association, the Arkansas Seed Dealers’ Association, the Arkansas Oil Marketers Association, the Arkansas Crop Protection Association, the Arkansans Agricultural Aviation Association and the Arkansas Forestry Association.
As a result of House Bill 1210, the governor would have the authority to appoint a total of 16 of the 18 total State Plant Board members.
State Plant Board members serve for two-year terms. The board is responsible for establishing rules and regulations on “insect pests, diseases, noxious weeds…,” as well as how they are disseminated, treated and eliminated. The board oversees the investigation, control and eradication of infested plant and plant products.
Filed on Jan. 19, the bill was read the first and second time and referred to the House Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development.