USDA is available around the clock and around the globe to support farmers and ranchers as you get started and build your agricultural businesses. USDA is a vital part of new farmers and ranchers' team, striving to create ever-more modern, customer-friendly customer service and to reach customers in new ways.
USDA Service Centers are located across the country, throughout the communities that they serve. They are a place where customers can access some of the most critical services offered by USDA - including financial assistance and conservation planning.
Note: Some service centers may not offer all services. Contact the center before making the trip if you have any questions.
Connect with Cooperative Extension
USDA and agricultural colleges around the country work together to support an extensive network of state, regional, and county Cooperative Extension offices, which can help answer questions from new farmers and ranchers about their operations and common issues that they face. These offices also conduct workshops and educational events for the agricultural community.
Opportunities to Lead and Engage
The election of responsible agricultural producers to Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees is important to all farmers and ranchers. Committee members are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA. They help deliver FSA farm programs at the local level and work to help FSA agricultural programs serve the needs of local producers.
You can also be a voice for your industry and shape the future of agriculture by serving on a Research and Promotion Program Board. These programs, which are overseen by the Agricultural Marketing Service, focus on research, marketing, and consumer outreach efforts that improve, maintain, and develop opportunities for agricultural commodities. Funded by industry assessments, the programs allow stakeholders across an industry to pool their expertise and resources. Research and Promotion programs are run by a board or council whose members are nominated by the industry and then appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. There are 22 national Research and Promotion programs serving a variety of commodity industries, from eggs to soybeans, lumber to lamb.
USDA has a number of Federal Advisory Committees and Boards that advise on a variety of issues ranging from emerging markets to animal health. These committees play an important role in shaping programs and policies of the government and the department. USDA is continuously seeking nominations for all advisory committees. Opportunities to serve are routinely available as the term of each member expires.
Sonia Kendrick served in Afghanistan and upon her return was drawn to fighting hunger issues in Iowa through locally-grown food. Working closely with USDA Farm Service Agency and others, Kendrick has created a platform that not only provides access to fresh, healthy, and locally-grown food but also creates an opportunity for returning veterans.