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Key Policies

Policies and legislation guide the work at USDA. Use this information to learn about some of USDA’s current focus areas like equity and learn how to share your ideas for future policies

USDA’s Strategic Plan

USDA Priorities
USDA has set four cross-cutting strategic priorities as part of its work behalf of producers, families, and rural communities:

  • Addressing Climate Change via Climate Smart Agriculture, Forestry, and Clean Energy
  • Advancing Racial Justice, Equity, Opportunity and Rural Prosperity
  • Creating More and Better Market Opportunities
  • Tackling Food and Nutrition Insecurity

Strategic Plan Fiscal Years 2022–2026 (PDF, 9.6 MB)
USDA’s Strategic Plan reflects the challenges and opportunities the department faces and outlines how USDA plans to meet this moment. It is guided by the aforementioned crosscutting priorities.

Legislation Driving Action on USDA Priorities

American Rescue Plan
This legislation has sped up the country’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It has enabled USDA to further its goal of ending food insecurity by providing increased and improved access to nutrition assistance programs, to respond to disruptions in the food supply chain through long-term resiliency projects, to advance equity through providing debt relief to underserved producers and funding career development opportunities for next generation leaders, and to strengthen rural America by providing financial support to rural hospitals, housing and broadband.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
This legislation has invested billions of dollars in lands and resources entrusted to the Forest Service to improve wildland fire management and repair infrastructure across the national forests and grasslands, expanded broadband availability in rural areas, helped the Forest Service restore and repair buildings, roads, and outdoor recreation through the Federal Lands Transportation Program.

Inflation Reduction Act
This legislation has made historic investments to further USDA’s work to give farmers and landowners the tools they need to address climate mitigation and conservation, to lower power and energy costs for families and support clean energy jobs in rural communities, to protect communities from wildfires, and to ensure equity for underserved producers.

About the Farm Bill

The most recent Farm Bill was signed into law on December 20, 2018, and the USDA promptly began implementing key programs.  As part of implementation, USDA held several public listening sessions with stakeholders to gain input on implementation considerations.

Key 2018 Farm Bill Programs
Every five years, Congress passes the Farm Bill to set national agriculture, nutrition, conservation and forestry policy. Follow this link to see the Farm Bill programs currently being implemented across USDA.

Farm Bill Programs for Producers
Learn about the assistance for farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners available through the 2018 Farm Bill.

Key USDA Laws and Regulations

USDA Laws and Regulations
Links to a wide range of rules, regulations, guidelines, judicial decisions and more that impact how USDA and its partners operate.

About the Census of Agriculture

Census of Agriculture
The Census of Agriculture, taken once every five years, looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditure. It provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every county in the nation. Farmers and ranchers can use Census of Agriculture data to make informed decisions about the future of their own operations.

Agriculture Census data will be released in spring/summer 2024.

Census of Agriculture Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions and answers about National Agricultural Statistics Service’s data and programs.


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Page last updated: July 20, 2023