What We Do
We provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on public policy, the best available science, and effective management.
We have a vision to provide economic opportunity through innovation, helping rural America to thrive; to promote agriculture production that better nourishes Americans while also helping feed others throughout the world; and to preserve our Nation's natural resources through conservation, restored forests, improved watersheds, and healthy private working lands.
Our strategic goals serve as a roadmap for the Department to help ensure we achieve our mission and implement our vision.
Who We Are
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is made up of 29 agencies and offices with nearly 100,000 employees who serve the American people at more than 4,500 locations across the country and abroad.
How We Work
The core values described in our strategic plan provide our workforce with direction and goals along with milestones that we use to measure our progress, and help to guide decisions about our budget, programs and services.
On May 15, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation to establish the United States Department of Agriculture and two and a half years later in his final message to Congress, Lincoln called USDA "The People's Department." Through our work on food, agriculture, economic development, science, natural resource conservation and other issues, USDA has impacted the lives of generations of Americans.
- USDA 150 Years
- Former Secretaries
- President Lincoln's Agricultural Legacy
- History of American Agriculture 1776-1999 (PDF, 3.0 MB)
Washing Raw Poultry: Our Science, Your Choice
A study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reveals that individuals are putting themselves at risk of illness when they wash or rinse raw poultry.