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USDA Comment Policy

The purpose of the USDA's new media communication forums, including the USDA blog, collaborative tools and other sites, is to share news and information regarding the activities, policies and programs of the Department of Agriculture and its employees. We encourage discussion and comments on posts. Your insights are important to ensure Americans nationwide are informed and can be a part of the USDA's work, every day.

We will review all comments before before posting them. For the benefit of a robust and constructive conversation, we will post comments only if they relate to the topic discussed within the corresponding blog post. We want to publish your comments, but expect participants to show respect, civility and consideration to the blog authors and other blog visitors who include persons of all ages. Therefore, we will not post comments that:

- Make personal attacks

- Are far off-topic

- Promote services or products

- Contain abusive, profane or vulgar language

- Contain sexual content, overly graphic, disturbing, obscene or offensive material, or material that would otherwise violate the law if published here

- Include offensive language targeting specific ethnic or racial groups.

We will not edit your comments to remove objectionable or inappropriate content, so please ensure that your comment complies with this policy.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, phone numbers, addresses, or e-mail addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, it may not be posted.

Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other nongovernmental organizations or individuals that remain on this site are provided solely for informational purposes. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service.

We recognize that the blog and other new media tools are available 24 hours a day, and we welcome your comments at any time. However, given the need to manage resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours, Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends or holidays will be read and posted as soon as possible; in most cases, this will mean the next business day.

All participants in this blog should be aware that information shared through the site may be subject to release to people who request it through the Freedom of Information Act.

Please note that communications made through new media channels, such as the USDA blog, will not constitute legal or official notice or comment to the USDA or any official or employee of USDA for any purpose.

This policy may be updated or amended at any time.