United States Department of Agriculture
Established on May 15th, 1862, the USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on public policy, the best available science, and effective management.
The vision is 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 the Nation's natural resources through conservation, restored forests, improved watersheds, and healthy private working lands.
The plan is to serves as a roadmap for the Department to help ensure we achieve our mission and implement our vision.
Why we were formed
President Abraham Lincoln signed into law an act of Congress establishing the United States Department of Agriculture in 1862.
His final annual message to the Congress; Lincoln called USDA "The People's Department." In the 1860's, about half of all Americans lived on farms, compared with about 2% in the 21st century. To this day the USDA still works on food, agriculture, economic development, science, and natural resource conservation.