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United States Department of Agriculture


The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), has a long history. It was formally established by President Abraham Lincoln on May 15, 1862. The roots of the USDA go back to 1839, when Congress established an Agriculture Division within the Patent Office.

So what can the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) do for me the gardener?

The USDA provides many valuable services to consumers, commercial growers and home gardeners, like you and me.

Here are some of the major services provided by the USDA:

  • Develops, defines and executes national policies on agriculture, farming and food.

  • Monitors, inspects, and enforces food quality, nutrition, and safety, all along the food chain, from the farm, all the way to the grocery store.

  • Provides volumes of farm and agricultural information and support to commercial farmers

  • Provides a wealth of information on growing a wide variety of flowers, vegetables and herbs.

  • Provides in depth information on insects and plant diseases

  • Provides grants to agricultural research projects

  • Defines, and monitors USDA Organic standards, requirements and guidelines

  • Helps to define growing conditions. Ie. Plant hardiness zones, Ph information, soil fertility information, and much more.

Did you Know? The Secretary of Agriculture is a cabinet level position within the US. government.

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