United States Department of Agriculture


United States
Department of Agriculture
Seal of the USDA
Logo of the USDA

Flag of the USDA
Agency overview
FormedMay 15, 1862 (1862-05-15)
Cabinet status: February 15, 1889
Preceding agency
  • Agricultural Division
JurisdictionU.S. federal government
HeadquartersJamie L. Whitten Building
1301 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C.
38°53′17″N 77°1′48″W / 38.88806°N 77.03000°W / 38.88806; -77.03000
Employees105,778 (June 2007)
Annual budgetUS$151 billion (2017)[1]
Agency executives
Websitewww.usda.gov Edit this at Wikidata

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the federal executive department responsible for developing and executing federal laws related to farming, forestry, rural economic development, and food. It aims to meet the needs of commercial farming and livestock food production, promotes agricultural trade and production, works to assure food safety, protects natural resources, fosters rural communities and works to end hunger in the United States and internationally. It is headed by the secretary of agriculture, who reports directly to the president of the United States and is a member of the president's Cabinet. The current secretary is Tom Vilsack, who has served since February 24, 2021.[2]

Approximately 80% of the USDA's $141 billion budget goes to the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) program. The largest component of the FNS budget is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as the 'Food Stamp' program), which is the cornerstone of USDA's nutrition assistance.[3] The United States Forest Service is the largest agency within the department, which administers national forests and national grasslands that together comprise about 25% of federal lands.

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference budget was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Good, Keith (February 24, 2021). "Senate Confirms Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture  • Farm Policy News". Farm Policy News. Archived from the original on February 19, 2022. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  3. ^ "History of FNS" (PDF). usda.gov. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 12, 2016. Retrieved July 1, 2016.

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