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Welcome from the Secretary

/Secretary Ann M. Veneman In 1862, when President Abraham Lincoln founded the U.S. Department of Agriculture, he called it the "people's Department." In Lincoln's day, 58 percent of the people were farmers who needed good seeds and information to grow their crops. Today, USDA continues Lincoln's legacy by serving all Americans. USDA remains committed to helping America's farmers and ranchers. But we also do much more....

  • USDA leads the Federal anti-hunger effort with the Food Stamp, School Lunch, School Breakfast, and the WIC Programs.

  • USDA is the steward of our nation's 192 million acres of national forests and rangelands.

  • USDA is the country's largest conservation agency, encouraging voluntary efforts to protect soil, water, and wildlife on the 70 percent of America's lands that are in private hands.

  • USDA brings housing, modern telecommunications, and safe drinking water to rural America.

  • USDA is responsible for the safety of meat, poultry, and egg products.

  • USDA is a research leader in everything from human nutrition to new crop technologies that allow us to grow more food and fiber using less water and pesticides.

  • USDA helps ensure open markets for U.S. agricultural products and provides food aid to needy people overseas.