Over the last ten years, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has transformed as an agency. Of course, the core mission is still there—facilitating the domestic and international marketing of U.S. agricultural products—but how we accomplish that mission is an evolutionary process.
Our agency serves many different stakeholders. From consumers to industry councils, state inspectors to non-profits, we offer a broad range of services, information, grants, and regulatory oversight that are critical to the agricultural economy and the quality of our nation’s food supply.
Modern consumers are educated and aware shoppers who want more information about the products they buy, and are using a variety of devices to get to it. Not only are they looking at the quality grades that AMS provides (USDA Prime, Choice, or Select; Grade A or AA, etc.), they are also looking for other labels, such as USDA Organic, Grassfed, local, and Process Verified, that speak to the values and practices used in producing their food.
Agri-businesses and U.S. food producers have also evolved. They have increased safety measures, responded to consumer demands for new products, and adopted new technology and methodology to increase accuracy and efficiency.
As an agency, AMS has responded to both the industry needs for value-added services, and the consumer need to better identify and understand the products they buy. This evolution in services and information, as well as the regulations and processes involved, is reflected in our new website and the new communication tools it provides to all of our stakeholders.
Using a completely new design and information structure, the new website is task-oriented and geared toward helping stakeholders better understand the regulations we enforce, the services we provide, and the grades and standards of the products they buy.
Our new site also gives easy, centralized access to upcoming events, news, notices to trade, and our rulemaking process. And it allows users to subscribe to specific topics, so they can receive email notifications when new materials are posted or when there’s an announcement.
The updated structure and underlying technology gives us the ability to more easily deliver data sets and data visualizations, to increase transparency in our regulatory processes, and to build richer experiences through videos, interactive training, and other resources.
Ultimately, our new website better showcases the breadth and depth of what AMS offers, and lays a foundation for us to continue to evolve—to better serve American agriculture.