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U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Overview

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) works to support the American agricultural economy to strengthen rural communities; to protect and conserve our natural resources; and to provide a safe, sufficient, and nutritious food supply for the American people. The Department’s wide range of programs and responsibilities touches the lives of every American every day. This factsheet provides information about some of our agencies and offices, their missions, responsibilities, and services they provide.

We provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on public policy, the best available science, and effective management. We have a vision to provide economic opportunity through innovation, helping rural America to thrive; to promote agriculture production that better nourishes Americans while also helping feed others throughout the world; and to preserve our Nation's natural resources through conservation, restored forests, improved watersheds, and healthy private working lands. Our strategic plan serves as a roadmap for the Department to help ensure we achieve our mission and implement our vision. 

Our success depends on: 

  • Transparency — Making the Department’s management processes more open so that the public can learn how USDA supports Americans every day in every way. 
  • Participation — Providing opportunities for USDA constituents to shape and improve services provided by the Department. 
  • Collaboration — Working cooperatively at all governmental levels domestically and internationally on policy matters affecting a broad audience. 
  • Accountability — Ensuring that the performance of all employees is measured against the achievement of the Department’s strategic goals. 
  • Customer Focus — Serving USDA’s constituents by delivering programs that address their diverse needs. 
  • Professionalism — Building and maintaining a highly skilled, diverse, and compassionate workforce. 
  • Results Orientation — Measuring performance and making management decisions to direct resources to where they are used most effectively.
(202) 720-2791
Adaptation work: 

In an effort to mitigate climate-related risks, USDA has established seven regional hubs for risk adaptation and mitigation to climate change. These Hubs will deliver science-based knowledge and practical information to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners on a regional basis to support decision-making related to climate change.

Preparing for Increased Weather Risks

Regional Climate Hubs

In an effort to mitigate climate-related risks, USDA has established seven regional hubs for risk adaptation and mitigation to climate change. These Hubs will deliver science-based knowledge and practical information to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners on a regional basis to support decision-making related to climate change.

As part of the President's Climate Action Plan (PDF, 311KB), the Hubs will provide:

  • Technical support for land managers to respond to drought, heat stress, floods, pests, and changes in the growing season.
  • Assessments and regional forecasts for hazard and adaptation planning to provide more time to prepare.
  • Outreach and education for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners on ways to mitigate risks and thrive despite change.

For more information on the Hubs, visit the USDA Climate Hubs Webpage.

Climate Solutions at USDA

USDA is taking steps to create modern solutions to the challenge of climate change. New uniform, science-based guidance on cover crop management helps producers prevent erosion, improve soil properties, supply nutrients to crops, suppress weeds, improve soil water content, and break pest cycles.

The following two assessments project climate impacts over the coming years:

USDA also released a Carbon Management Evaluation Tool (COMET-FARM) to help producers calculate how much carbon their land's soil and vegetation can remove from the atmosphere.