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