The United States Department of Agriculture 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 do for me the gardener? The USDA provides many valuable services to consumers, commercial growers, and home gardeners, like you and me. Most importantly, they exist to protect the health and safety of the foods we eat every day.
Develops, defines, and executes national policies on agriculture, farming, and food.
Monitor, inspect and enforce 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.
Publishes 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. I.e., 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.