Georgia Department of Agriculture

Commissioner R.T. Nesbitt, 1890 - 1898

Commissioner R.T. Nesbitt

After the office of Commissioner of Agriculture became an elected position, R.T. Nesbitt entered the race against the incumbent, J.T. Henderson. Campaigning against Henderson's management of the oil and fertilizer inspection program, Nesbitt became the first elected Commissioner of Agriculture in Georgia.

Following his election, Commissioner Nesbitt set out to implement a new system of compensation for oil inspectors. The number of inspectors was reduced and new limits were set on how much they could retain from each month's receipts. As the work load for the state chemist had tripled from previous years, Nesbitt made the decision to move the state laboratory from Athens to the Capitol in Atlanta. This was one of many moves he made to make the department more efficient in its duties to the public.

Commissioner Nesbitt also changed the weekly press bulletins to a monthly installment. These "monthly talks," likely the precursor to the Market Bulletin we enjoy today, included practical information on all things gardening and farming. Citizens in the most remote areas of Georgia relied on these monthly installments to provide them with accurate information and to serve as a forum for discussion and agricultural related questions.

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