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Office of the General Counsel (OGC)

The Office of the General Counsel (OGC) is an independent legal agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). OGC provides legal advice and services to the Secretary of Agriculture and to all other officials and agencies of the Department with respect to all USDA programs and activities. All legal services are centralized within OGC and the General Counsel reports directly to the Secretary.

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

There are four regional offices within OGC:

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Denver, CO
  • San Francisco, CA