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U.S. Department of Agriculture

Agency Overview

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) supports international initiatives in the areas of natural resources and environment, natural resources conservation, foreign agriculture, food safety inspection, economic research, agricultural research, animal and plant health inspection and marketing services. Five USDA agencies implement foreign assistance programs:

  • The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
  • The Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Office of International Research
  • The Forest Service (FS)
  • The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)
  • The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

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U.S. Department of Agriculture Data

U.S. government agencies are adding data to ForeignAssistance.gov quarterly to comply with the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2016. Each agency is required by law to report at FY2015 as the minimum base year.

Planned Funding By Fiscal Year | USDA

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Obligated Funding By Fiscal Year | USDA

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Spent Funding By Fiscal Year | USDA

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Transaction Data | USDA

Transaction data represents every individual financial record in an agency’s accounting system for program work with implementing partners and administrative expenses. Transaction data is the most granular form of financial data. Each data record - or financial transaction - contains qualitative data fields, including descriptive titles, vendor names, and location, along with the financial data. Thus, transaction data is called Disaggregated data as it disaggregates financial data into its most basic form.

The data shown above in the planned, obligated, and spent tabs represents transaction data aggregated at a higher level of analysis (by country and sector only), thus this data is called Aggregated data.

The table below displays every applicable award within each agency’s accounting system. An award may consist of multiple financial transactions. In these instances, the table displays the award’s aggregated sum of its individual transactions. Data from the table can be downloaded by selecting each individual award. The downloadable report disaggregates award data into individual transactions. If an award has multiple transactions, the downloadable report will generate lines of data for each transaction.

For additional information related to data definitions and classifications, please refer to the Glossary of Terms or the FAQs.

This data set will continue to be updated in accordance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Bulletin 12-01.

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Frequently Asked Questions | USDA

What is USDA?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is a Federal agency whose mission is to provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management.

USDA’s vision is to expand economic opportunity through innovation, helping rural America to thrive; to promote agriculture production sustainability that better nourishes Americans while also helping feed others throughout the world; and to preserve and conserve our Nation's natural resources through restored forests, improved watersheds, and healthy private working lands.

When was USDA created?

Founded in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law an act of Congress establishing the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Two and one-half years later, in what would be his final annual message to the Congress, Lincoln called USDA "The People's Department." At that time, about half of all Americans lived on farms, compared with about two percent today. But through its work on food, agriculture, economic development, science, natural resource conservation and a host of issues, USDA still fulfills Lincoln's vision - touching the lives of every American, every day.

What are the mission areas and agencies within USDA and their roles in foreign assistance?

The Department of Agriculture is made up of seven mission areas aligned to seven major areas of the Department’s mission. Each of these mission areas has two or more USDA agencies, or subcomponents of the Department, with greater focus on the aspects of the Department’s mission. Further descriptions of the mission areas related to foreign assistance activities and the nine USDA agencies that implement the foreign assistance activities follow below.

Mission Area: Natural Resources and Environment

Natural Resources and Environment ensures the health of the land through sustainable management. USDA agencies under this mission area work to prevent damage to natural resources and the environment, restore the resource base, and promote good land management.

Mission Area: Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services

The Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services mission area helps to keep America's farmers and ranchers in business as they face the uncertainties of weather and markets. They deliver commodity, credit, conservation, disaster, and emergency assistance programs that help improve the stability and strength of the agricultural economy.

The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) in this mission area links U.S. agriculture to the world to enhance export opportunities and global food security.

In addition to its Washington, D.C. staff, FAS has a global network of 96 offices covering 169 countries. These offices are staffed by agricultural attachés and locally hired staff who are the eyes, ears, and voice for U.S. agriculture around the world. FAS staff identify problems, provide practical solutions, and work to advance opportunities for U.S. agriculture and support U.S. foreign policy around the globe.

Mission Area: Research, Education, and Economics

Research, Education, and Economics is dedicated to the creation of a safe, sustainable, competitive U.S. food and fiber system, as well as strong communities, families, and youth through integrated research, analysis, and education. This mission area is also focused on harnessing technologies to improve global food production and food supply monitoring worldwide.

Mission Area: Marketing and Regulatory Programs

The Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP) facilitates domestic and international marketing of U.S. agricultural products and ensures the health and care of animals and plants. MRP agencies are active participants in setting national and international standards.

What are the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) agency’s foreign assistance activities?

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is responsible for protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, administering the Animal Welfare Act, and carrying out wildlife-damage management activities. In recent years, the scope of APHIS' protection function has expanded beyond pest and disease management. Because of its technical expertise and leadership in assessing and regulating the risks associated with agricultural imports, APHIS has assumed a greater role in the global agricultural arena. More information on APHIS can be found here.

To reduce the threat to U.S. agriculture, APHIS’s International Service (IS) cooperates in a number of major surveillance, eradication, and control programs in foreign countries, focusing on nations where economically significant pests or diseases are found. It plays a major role in ensuring that U.S. agricultural exports are accessible to foreign countries and works with countries seeking to establish preclearance programs. IS also represents the U.S. government in dealing with many international and regional organizations concerned with animal and plant health. More information on IS can be found here.

What are the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) agency’s foreign assistance activities?

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is USDA’s main in-house scientific research agency. ARS conducts research to develop and transfer solutions to agricultural problems of high national priority and provide information access and dissemination. More information on ARS can be found here.

The Office of International Research Programs (OIRP) is the principle ARS contact for international issues. Its mission is to enhance the productivity, effectiveness, and impact of the ARS National Programs through mutually beneficial international research and development collaborations in agriculture and natural resources science.

Research Internships for Early Career South African Agricultural Scientists is an ARS project that aims to provide, through work experience, cooperative research, and scientific and technology exchange, methodologies useful for solving technical problems within the South African agricultural context and to enhance or establish income-generating opportunities in rural communities.

ARS also has many international research projects. More information can be found here.

What are the Forest Service (FS) agency’s foreign assistance activities?

Established in 1905, the Forest Service (FS) manages public lands in national forests and grasslands. The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. More information on FS can be found here.

International Programs of FS coordinates the Forest Service’s international work. It promotes sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation internationally. FS International Programs partners with many types of organizations, large and small, private and public, on a wide range of technical cooperation and policy development issues. It provides technical skills by tapping the expertise of a large number of FS researchers, foresters, wildlife biologists, hydrologists, policymakers, and other specialists. International Programs has three main staff units: Technical Cooperation, Policy, and Disaster Assistance Support Program (DASP).

As a scientific institution, the International Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITF) at FS is committed to research in tropical forestry and the transfer of technologies. To address aspects of physical, social, and economic issues in managing tropical forests, the IITF has more than 60 years of experience in interdisciplinary research.

The Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry (IPIF) has grown to become a center of research and technology transfer on matters of the management, preservation, and restoration of natural ecosystems and landscapes throughout the Pacific. The Institute's work is conducted by a unique structure of teams that include both scientists funded by FS research and professionals funded through State and Private Forestry and International Forestry.

What are Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) agency’s foreign assistance activities?

The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) works to improve foreign market access for U.S. products, build new markets, improve the competitive position of U.S. agricultural in the global marketplace, and provide food aid and technical assistance to foreign countries. More information on FAS can be found here.

Information on FAS International Production, Market & Trade Reports and snapshot summary of supply and demand situation for various commodities can be found here.

Global Attaché Information Network (GAIN) is FAS’s web-based system developed to help disseminate agricultural knowledge. Over 3,000 reports submitted per year, GAIN provides timely information on the agricultural economy, products, and issues in foreign countries.

Information on the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) which provides comprehensive forecasts of supply and demand for major U.S. and global crops and U.S. livestock.

Crop Explorer is an FAS tool that offers global food supply monitoring by region or crop via satellite imagery.

Note: In fiscal year (FY) 2013, FAS is reporting only international food aid awards. Other FAS foreign assistance awards will be reported in the future.

What are the National Institute of Food and Agriculture agency’s (NIFA) foreign assistance activities?

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) addresses many challenges facing the Nation through exemplary agricultural science. NIFA works with the best and brightest scientists at universities and colleges throughout the United States and around the world to find innovative solutions to issues related to agriculture, food, the environment, and communities. With a timely, integrated approach and collaboration with other Federal science agencies, NIFA also serves as a vital contributor to Federal science policy decision-making. More information on NIFA can be found here.

Center for International Programs (CIP)

With today’s increasingly global society, USDA and its partner American colleges and universities must play a major role in preparing U.S. citizens to work and succeed in a rapidly changing world. NIFA’s Center for International Programs office is working with universities to find ways of engaging students, faculty, and staff in the world outside our borders.

National Initiative to Internationalize Extension

The National Initiative to Internationalize Extension is a 3-year program funded by NIFA to strengthen the international dimension of State extension programs. The initiative hopes to bring attention to the urgent need for engagement with American audiences around global issues, interdependence, and the critical role that extension can play in today's world.

International Science and Education (ISE) Competitive Grants Program

The ISE Competitive Grants Program supports research, extension, and teaching activities that will enhance the capabilities of American colleges and universities to conduct international collaborative research, extension, and teaching.

Competitive Programs

The NIFA Competitive Programs Unit manages funding opportunities that challenge the Nation's top researchers to identify, solve, and put into practice solutions to problems that improve the safety, quality, productivity, and security of our food supply and the well-being of animals, humans, the environment and natural resources, and rural and urban communities.

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Food Safety

This AFRI Challenge Area promotes and enhances the scientific discipline of food safety, with an overall aim of protecting consumers from microbial and chemical contaminants that may occur during all stages of the food chain, from production to consumption. This requires an understanding of the interdependencies of human, animal, and ecosystem health as it pertains to food-borne pathogens.

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