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Mission Areas

Farm Production and Conservation

Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) is the Department’s focal point for the Nation’s farmers and ranchers and other stewards of private agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest lands. FPAC agencies implement programs designed to mitigate the significant risks of farming through crop insurance, conservation programs, farm safety net programs, lending, and disaster programs.

Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services

Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services works to harness the Nation’s agricultural abundance to reduce food insecurity and improve nutrition security in the United States. Its operating agency, the Food and Nutrition Service, administers federal domestic nutrition assistance programs and includes the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, which links scientific research to the nutrition needs of consumers through science-based dietary guidance, nutrition policy coordination, and nutrition education.

Food Safety

Food Safety and Inspection Service is the USDA public health agency responsible for protecting the public’s health by ensuring the safety of meat, poultry, and egg products. FSIS ensures food safety through the authorities of the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act, and the Egg Products Inspection Act, as well as humane animal handling through the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.

Marketing and Regulatory Programs

Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP) facilitates domestic and international marketing of U.S. agricultural products, protects U.S. plant and animal health, regulates genetically engineered organisms, administers the Animal Welfare Act, and carries out wildlife damage management activities. MRP agencies are active participants in setting national and international standards.

Natural Resources and Environment

The mission of Natural Resources and Environment is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.  We carry out our mission in partnership with States, Tribes, and communities across the country who steward our Nation’s forest and grasslands.

Research, Education and Economics

Research, Education and Economics is dedicated to the creation of a safe, sustainable, competitive U.S. food and fiber system, as well as strong communities, families, and youth through integrated research, analysis, and education.

Rural Development

Rural Development fosters opportunity and economic security for people and communities in rural America through a broad range of investments. These investments open doors to better jobs, create access to innovation and technology, while promoting the promise of rural prosperity, equity, and climate resilience. The mission area is a catalyst for locally driven economic development strategies that build on the diverse assets and needs of rural places, including improving high-speed internet access; providing affordable rural housing; connecting rural skill sets to jobs of the future; modernizing roads, bridges, and water systems; and ensuring communities have access to health care. Rural Development provides tools and resources such as loans, grants, and strong community partnerships that ensure rural families, businesses, and communities can prosper today and in the future.

Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs

Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs’ (TFAA) role is to provide our farmers and ranchers with opportunities to compete in the global marketplace. TFAA is the Department’s lead on trade policy with the primary responsibility of ensuring USDA speaks with a unified voice on international agricultural issues domestically and abroad. Within TFAA, the Foreign Agricultural Service is the lead U.S. agency tasked with promoting exports of U.S. agricultural products through market intelligence, trade policy, trade capacity building, and trade promotion programs. This work is carried out by staff in Washington, D.C., as well as a global network of 95 offices covering 177 countries. Also, within TFAA, the U.S. Codex Office coordinates U.S. participation in the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a United Nations body that sets international food standards while protecting consumer health and ensuring fair trade practices.