About the Office of the General Counsel | USDA
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About the Office of the General Counsel

The Office of the General Counsel (OGC) is the legal advisor to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). OGC offices include a headquarters in Washington, D.C., four regional offices, and various field offices throughout the nation. OGC counsels all of the agencies that are part of USDA on the extremely broad range of legal issues that those agencies confront.

The General Counsel is the chief law officer of USDA and is responsible for providing legal services for all programs, operations, and activities of USDA. Two Deputy General Counsels, five Associate General Counsels, and four Regional Attorneys assist the General Counsel in managing the work of the office. A Senior Counselor also provides assistance in the Immediate Office of the General Counsel.

OGC provides legal services and legal oversight required by the Secretary of Agriculture and USDA to achieve the Department's mission and deliver programs and services to the American People.

OGC supports USDA's efforts to help rural America thrive, reduce hunger in the U.S. and abroad, promote agricultural production, and preserve our Nation's natural resources by providing proactive, accurate, creative and prompt legal services. OGC is committed to developing its employees and to serving its clients in a way that is inclusive, collaborative, transparent, innovative, knowledge-driven, and technology-enabled.

There are five division areas within OGC:

  • Marketing, Regulatory, and Food Safety Programs
  • International Affairs, Food Assistance, and Farm and Rural Programs
  • Natural Resources and Environment
  • General Law and Research
  • Civil Rights, Labor and Employment Law