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United States Department of Agriculture

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), also known as the Agriculture Department is the US executive department responsible for developing and executing the policies on farming, agriculture, forestry, and food. It was created to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote trade and production, work to assure food safety, protect natural resources, foster rural communities and end hunger in the United States and around the world.

On May 15,1862, Abraham Lincoln established the department of Agriculture to be headed by a commissioner without Cabinet status. Lincoln called it the “people’s department”. In the 1880’s various advocacy groups lobbied for cabinet representation. In 1889, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill into law elevating the Department of Agriculture to Cabinet level.

In 1887 the Hatch Act provided for federal funding of agriculture experiment stations in each state. Our modern day extension offices were funded by the Smith-Lever act of 1914 to teach agriculture, home economics and related subjects to the public. With these and similar provisions, the USDA eventually reached out to every county of every state in these United States of America.

Don’t forget to check in with us every day during the month of March for a feature article related to Agriculture Appreciation Month.

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