Did you know that USDA has 17 separate agencies?

Each USDA agency has it’s own separate website with information specific to programs, services, funding opportunities, and other agency information. A brief overview of each agency from USDA’s website and a link to each individual site follows:

  1. Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS): facilitates the strategic marketing of agricultural products in domestic and international markets while ensuring fair trading practices and promoting a competitive and efficient marketplace. AMS constantly works to develop new marketing services to increase customer satisfaction.
  2. Agricultural Research Service (ARS): is USDA’s principal in-house research agency. ARS leads America towards a better future through agricultural research and information.
  3. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS): provides leadership in ensuring the health and care of animals and plants. The agency improves agricultural productivity and competitiveness and contributes to the national economy and the public health.
  4. Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP): works to improve the health and well-being of Americans by developing and promoting dietary guidance that links scientific research to the nutrition needs of consumers.
  5. Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES): in partnership with land-grant universities, and other public and private organizations, CREES provides the focus to advance a global system of extramural research, extension, and higher education in the food and agricultural sciences.
  6. Economic Research Service (ERS): is USDA’s principal social science research agency. Each year, ERS communicates research results and socioeconomic indicators via briefings for policymakers and their staffs, market analysis updates, and major reports.
  7. Farm Service Agency (FSA): implements agricultural policy, administers credit and loan programs, and manages conservation, commodity, disaster and farm marketing programs through a national network of offices.
  8. Food and Nutrition Service (FNS): increases food security and reduces hunger in partnership with cooperating organizations by providing children and low-income people access to food, a healthy diet, and nutrition education in a manner that supports American agriculture and inspires public confidence.
  9. Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS): enhances public health and well-being by protecting the public from foodborne illness and ensuring that the nation’s meat, poultry and egg products are safe, wholesome, and correctly packaged.
  10. Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS): works to improve foreign market access for U.S. products. This USDA agency operates programs designed to build new markets and improve the competitive position of U.S. agriculture in the global marketplace.
  11. Forest Service (FS): sustains the health, diversity and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.
  12. Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA): facilitates the marketing of livestock, poultry, meat, cereals, oilseeds, and related agricultural products. It also promotes fair and competitive trading practices for the overall benefit of consumers and American agriculture. GIPSA ensures open and competitive markets for livestock, poultry, and meat by investigating and monitoring industry trade practices.
  13. National Agricultural Library (NAL): ensures and enhances access to agricultural information for a better quality of life.
  14. National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS): serves the basic agricultural and rural data needs of the country by providing objective, important and accurate statistical information and services to farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and public officials. This data is vital to monitoring the ever-changing agricultural sector and carrying out farm policy.
  15. Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS): provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people conserve, maintain and improve our natural resources and environment.
  16. Risk Management Agency (RMA): helps to ensure that farmers have the financial tools necessary to manage their agricultural risks. RMA provides coverage through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, which promotes national welfare by improving the economic stability of agriculture.
  17. Rural Development (RD): helps rural areas to develop and grow by offering Federal assistance that improves quality of life. RD targets communities in need and then empowers them with financial and technical resources.