Skip to main content

Office of Ethics

Ethics and Hatch Act Training Materials for Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Detailees working for USDA

Congratulations on your new role serving the American People as an IPA Detailee. Although you're still employed by a non-profit organization, the Federal Ethics Conflict of Interest Laws and the Hatch Rules limiting partisan political activity will apply to you during your temporary assignment at USDA. You must adhere to these important rules just as if you were a full-time Federal employee. This means, for example, that you will not be able to work on, or make recommendations regarding, particular matters (such as USDA contracts, grants, litigation, loans, or applications) that will affect your current non-profit employer, or your family members, or any outside organization in which you serve as an officer or member of the board of directors – even if you serve on the outside board in an uncompensated capacity.

To ensure that you are aware of these important rules, you will need to review these training resources produced by the USDA Office of Ethics;

  1. Important Ethics Rules Every IPA Detailee Must Know -- YouTube Ethics video (short two and a half minute video)
  2. Successfully Navigating your IPA Detail at USDA: An Essential Guide to the Ethics and Political Activity Rules – PowerPoint Ethics and Hatch Act Presentation Slides. Please review these slides at the start of your IPA Detail at USDA to ensure that you are aware of ethics the rules that will apply to you. And, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the USDA Office of Ethics at

    IPA Ethics Training USDA IPA Detailees (PDF, 2.0 MB)
  3. Overview of Ethics Responsibilities for IPA Detailees and their USDA Supervisors (PDF, 145 KB)

    This memorandum contains important information from the USDA Office of Ethics concerning the respective responsibilities and duties of Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assignees (also known as IPA Detailees) and their USDA supervisors.

Biden Administration Ethics Pledge Waivers

Below are the hyperlinks to the Ethics Pledge waivers issued by the USDA Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO) to Biden Administration appointees serving in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These waivers are issued by the DAEO in accordance with Executive Order 13989, titled: Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel, and OGE Legal Advisory LA-21-04 (PDF, 122 KB), titled: Waiver Authority and Making Waivers Public under Section 3 of Executive Order 13989, “Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel.” Pursuant to Section 3 of Executive Order 13989, a limited waiver of the requirements of Section 1, Paragraph 2 of the Executive Order has been issued for the individual(s) listed below. The limited waiver is in the public interest to enable the individual(s) listed below to effectively carry out their respective official duties.

Andrea Delgado, Chief of Staff, Natural Resources and Environment Mission Area, USDA, issued January 18, 2022 (PDF, 332 KB)

Gail Greenman, State Executive Director for the State of Oregon, Farm Service Agency, USDA, issued April 11, 2022 (PDF, 331 KB)

New from OE: Ethics LiveCasts

How to Get in Touch with the USDA Office of Ethics

Employees of:


Farm Production and Conservation Mission Area (FSA, NRCS, RMA, and FPAC Business Center)

Food, Nutrition and Consumer Service Mission Area (FNS, CNPP)

Food Safety Mission Area (FSIS)

Marketing and Regulatory Programs Mission Area (AMS, APHIS & GIPSA)

Natural Resources and Environment Mission Area (USFS)

Research, Education and Economics Mission Area (ARS, NIFA, ERS, NASS)

Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Mission Area (FAS)

Rural Development (RBCS, RHS & RUS)

Departmental Management, Staff Offices, Filers of Public Financial Disclosure Reports and Political Appointees

Section 508 Requests

USDA-NASA Ethics Training Game

Screenshot of the USDA-NASA Ethics Training Game

As a new groundbreaking innovation in the Federal government, USDA's Annual Ethics training is now in an engaging game format that features space travel, agriculture, and you! USDA and NASA have teamed up to create this interactive simulation where your knowledge of the Ethics rules will help you succeed in the game as you help lead a diverse team working against the clock to save USDA's automated greenhouse on the Moon. The Ethics Game is randomized, so the challenges will be different each time you play the game. USDA employees can locate this game on AgLearn by searching "OGC-Ethics-2021" in the AgLearn search feature. For those who do not work at USDA, we have made the Ethics Game accessible to everyone by posting it publicly on USDA's webpage (see below). Even if you are not a Federal employee, we invite you to try this new innovative and fun way to learn about the Federal Ethics rules and the important work of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and NASA. [Disclaimer: While USDA does not yet have a greenhouse on the Moon, the issue of food sustainability will be an issue for astronauts and mission crews as humans travel to celestial bodies in the future.]

USDA-NASA Ethics Training Game

USDA Recognized for Ethical Leadership

On April 2, 2021, The US Office of Government Ethics highlighted Secretary Vilsack's memorandum on ethical conduct as an example of "Leadership in action":


Memo from Secretary Vilsack: "Ethical Conduct: Our Commitment to Restoring and Maintaining the Public's Trust in Government" (PDF, 102 KB)

USDA Ethics Mobile Application (USDA Ethics App) and USDA Civil Rights Mobile Application (USDA Civil Rights App)

When you browse through the USDA Ethics App and/or the USDA Civil Rights App and read pages or download information, the app automatically collects certain information about usage of the Application to help understand how users use the Application, none of this information identifies individuals personally.

The information collected is solely on the usage of the Application from within the Application, and none of this information identifies individuals personally. For example, each time an individual visit the Application, it automatically collects users access times, bandwidth usage and the modules contained in the Application individuals use the most. The information collected is used to (1) better understand individual needs and the needs of the Application and Services users in the aggregate; (2) for statistical purposes to keep track of the usage of the Services with a view to introducing improvements; and (3) to trace any fraudulent or criminal activity, or any activity in violation of the Terms of Use.

Location Opting In: When a individuals opt in to background location tracking by the app, only the last known location is saved (replaces the previous location). Static locations may also be configured by subscribing to one or many U.S. ZIP code regions.