USDA – US Department Of Agriculture

In the United States of America, the USDA is an acronym for the United States Department of Agriculture. This department in the country is also known as the Agriculture Department. This department handles all the food-related issues and the farming industry also in the country.

 US Department Of Agriculture
US Department Of Agriculture

The department also comes in handy when there is a shortage of food or supplies due to a crisis. It provides solutions on how to feed the nation in such trying times.

Related: United States Department of Agriculture – Department of Agriculture Agencies


The United States Department of Agriculture is a federal executive department in the country that carries the responsibility of developing and executing federal laws related to farming, food is produced and consumed, forestry, and economic development in the country. The department also provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues.

The United States Department of Agriculture was formed on the 15th of May, 1862 but created a cabinet status on the 15th of February, 1889. This department is under the jurisdiction of the United States federal government and has its headquarters in Washington D.C., in Jamie L. Whitten Building 1301 Independence Avenue, S.W.

United States Department of Agriculture Budget – US Department Of Agriculture

The United States Department of Agriculture once had an annual budget of about one hundred and fifty-one billion dollars (US$151 billion) in 2017 and over one hundred and five thousand, seven hundred and seventy-five (105 775) employees working in that same year. The department has agency executives like Sonny Perdue as secretary and Stephen Censky as the deputy secretary.

An approximated value of about eighty percent (80%) of the annual budget of the United States Department of Agriculture goes into one of the biggest operation agencies in the department. This agency is the FNS, meaning Food and Nutrition Service. This is because the agency runs one of the largest programs under its administration in the country called SNAP.

SNAP means the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and it was formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. This program is more or less like the cornerstone of the Agriculture Department. It is a program that helps to provide food benefits and other social and medical benefits for people who have low or no income under the federal poverty line in the country.

Aims of USDA

The aims of the United States Department of Agriculture are some of the guidelines to the work being done in the department. The aims are as follows;

  • Work to assure food safety for both producers and consumers
  • Protects natural resources in the country
  • Promotes agricultural trade and production in the country and beyond
  • Meet the needs of farmers and ranchers in the country
  • Fosters rural communities in their development and economy
  • Works to eradicate hunger in the United States and even beyond the country.

This department has also carefully planned out strategic ways of implementing the vision through key activities. They are;

  • Enhancing food safety by taking steps to reduce the prevalence of foodborne hazards from farm to table
  • Improving nutrition and health by providing food assistance and nutrition education and promotion and
  • Managing and protecting America’s public and private lands working cooperatively with other levels of government and the private sector.
  • Expanding markets for agricultural
  • Supporting international economic development
  • Further developing alternative markets for agricultural products and activities
  • Providing financing needed to help expand job opportunities
  • Improve housing, utilities, and infrastructure in rural America

These are the key activities in the department that has helped it implement its vision for the country and the world at large.

United States Department Of Agriculture Agencies

The USDA has agencies under its administration scattered all over the United States of America. these agencies are like sub-departments of the USDA. They are as follows;

  • National Agricultural Library (NAL)
  • National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)
  • The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
  • Risk Management Agency (RMA)
  • Rural Development (RD)
  • The Rural Utilities Service (RUS)
  • Rural Housing Service (RHS)
  • Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS)
  • Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)
  • Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
  • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
  • Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP)
  • Economic Research Service (ERS)
  • Farm Service Agency (FSA)
  • Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)
  • Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)
  • Forest Service (FS)

There are different responsibilities and roles played by these different agencies under the USDA aiming at one common goal which is to make the Agriculture Department achieve its main goal.

Challenges and Future Outlook

Despite its numerous achievements, the USDA faces persistent challenges, including the need to address climate change’s impact on agriculture, enhance food safety measures, and promote equitable access to nutritious food for all Americans. Additionally, the agency must adapt to the ever-evolving agricultural landscape, integrating technological advancements and responding to emerging challenges, such as pandemics and invasive pests.


The United States Department of Agriculture remains an essential pillar of the nation’s agricultural sector and food security efforts. Throughout its long history, the USDA has continually evolved to meet the changing needs of farmers, consumers, and rural communities. By fostering sustainable agricultural practices, promoting food safety, and addressing critical issues like hunger and nutrition, the USDA plays a vital role in ensuring a thriving and resilient agricultural sector in the United States.


What Does the USDA Do?

The USDA promotes and regulates agriculture, forestry, and food industries in the United States to ensure food security, support farmers, and protect public health.

What Was the Meaning of USDA?

The full meaning is United States Department of Agriculture.

What Are the Main Functions of the USDA?

The USDA’s main functions include supporting farmers and rural communities, ensuring food safety and inspection, providing nutrition assistance programs, conducting agricultural research, and managing forestry and conservation efforts.

What Is the Role of The USDA In Food Safety?

The USDA is responsible for inspecting meat, poultry, and egg products to ensure they meet rigorous safety standards, thus safeguarding public health and preventing foodborne illnesses.



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