DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250
Phone, 202-720-4623. Internet, http://www.usda.gov.
SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE Mike Johanns
Deputy Secretary Charles F. Conner
Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign J.B. Penn
Deputy Under Secretaries Floyd Gaibler,
Administrator, Farm Service Agency Teresa C. Lasseter
Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Michael W. Yost
Administrator, Risk Management Eldon F. Gould
Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Eric M. Bost
Deputy Under Secretary Kate Coler
Administrator, Food and Nutrition Roberto Salazar
Executive Director, Center for Eric Hentges
Nutrition Policy and Promotion
Under Secretary for Food Safety Richard Raymond
Deputy Under Secretary Curt Mann
Administrator, Food Safety and Barbara Masters
Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Mark E. Rey
Deputy Under Secretaries Merlyn Carlson, Dave Tenny
Chief, Forest Service Dale Bosworth
Chief, Natural Resources Bruce Knight
Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Gale A. Buchanan
Deputy Under Secretary Merle D. Pierson
Administrator, Agricultural Research Edward B. Knipling
Administrator, Cooperative State Colien Hefferan
Research, Education, and Extension Service
Administrator, Economic Research Susan E. Offutt
Administrator, National Agricultural Ron Bosecker
Under Secretary for Rural Development Thomas Dorr
Deputy Under Secretary Al Johnson
Administrator, Rural Business- Jackie Gleason
Administrator, Rural Housing Service Russell Davis
Administrator, Rural Utilities James Andrew
Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations Linda A. Strachan
Deputy Assistant Secretary Arlen Lancaster
Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Chuck Lambert, Acting
Deputy Under Secretary Chuck Lambert
Administrator, Agricultural Lloyd C. Day
Administrator, Animal and Plant Ron DeHaven
Health Inspection Service
Administrator, Grain Inspection, James Link
Packers, and Stockyards Administration
Assistant Secretary for Administration Boyd K. Rutherford
Deputy Assistant Secretary Peter J. Thomas
Chairman, Board of Contract Appeals Howard A. Pollack
Judicial Officer William G. Jenson
Chief Judge, Administrative Law Marc Hillson
Director, Office of Ethics Raymond Sheehan
Director, Office of Human Capital (vacancy)
Director, Office of Operations Priscilla B. Carey
Director, Office of Procurement and Warren R. Ashworth
Director, Office of Small and James E. House
Disadvantaged Business Utilization
Director, Conflict Resolution and Dale Gentry
Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (vacancy)
Deputy Assistant Secretary Annabelle Romero
Associate Assistant Secretary Clyde Thompson
Director, Office of Civil Rights Sadhna G. True
Director, Office of Outreach Gladys Vaughn
Chief Information Officer Dave Combs
Deputy Chief Information Officer Jerry E. Williams
Chief Financial Officer Charles Christopherson
Deputy Chief Financial Officer Patricia Healy
General Counsel Marc L. Kesselman
Deputy General Counsel J. Michael Kelly
Inspector General Phyllis K. Fong
Deputy Inspector General Kathleen S. Tighe
Director, Office of Communications Terri Teuber
Chief Economist Keith Collins
Deputy Chief Economist Joseph Glauber
Director, Office of Risk Assessment James Schaub
and Cost-Benefit Analysis
Chairman, World Agricultural Outlook Gerald Bange
Director, Global Change Program Office William Hohenstein
Director, Office of Energy Policy and New Uses Roger Conway
Director, National Appeals Division Roger J. Klurfeld
Director, Office of Budget and Program Analysis Scott Steele
Director, Office of the Executive Secretariat Bruce Bundick
The Department of Agriculture works to improve and maintain farm income and to develop and expand markets abroad for agricultural products. The Department helps to curb and to cure poverty, hunger, and malnutrition. It works to enhance the environment and to maintain production capacity by helping landowners protect the soil, water, forests, and other natural resources. Rural development, credit, and conservation programs are key resources for carrying out national growth policies. Department research findings directly or indirectly benefit all Americans. The Department, through inspection and grading services, safeguards and ensures standards of quality in the daily food supply.
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) was created by act of May 15, 1862
In carrying out its work in the program mission areas, USDA relies on the support of departmental administration staff, as well as the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Office of Communications, Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations, Office of the Inspector General, and the Office of the General Counsel.
USDA's rural development mission is to assist rural Americans to increase their economic opportunities and improve their quality of life. To accomplish this, USDA works to foster new cooperative relationships among Government, industry, and communities. As a capital investment bank, USDA provides financing for rural housing and community facilities, business and cooperative development, telephone and high-
speed Internet access, electric, water, and sewer infrastructure. Approximately 800 rural development field offices, staffed by 7,000 employees, provide frontline delivery of rural development loan and grant programs at the local level.
Rural Business-Cooperative Programs
To meet business credit needs in underserved areas, USDA rural development business programs are usually leveraged with commercial, cooperative, or other private sector lenders. USDA's business programs are as follows:
Business and Industry Guaranteed Loans This program helps create jobs and stimulates rural economies by providing financial backing for rural businesses. Loan proceeds may be used for working capital, machinery and equipment, buildings and real estate, and certain types of debt refinancing.
Business Enterprise These grants help public bodies, nonprofit corporations, and federally recognized Indian tribal groups finance and facilitate development of small and emerging private business enterprises located in rural areas. Grant funds can pay for the acquisition and development of land and the construction of buildings, plants, equipment, access streets and roads, parking areas, utility and service extensions, refinancing, and fees for professional services, as well as technical assistance and related training, startup costs and working capital, financial assistance to a third party,
production of television programs targeted to rural residents, and rural distance learning networks.
Business Opportunities This program promotes sustainable economic development in rural communities with exceptional needs. Funds are provided for technical assistance, training, and planning activities that improve economic conditions. Applicants must be located in rural areas.
Renewable Energy and Efficiency Loans and Grants This program encourages agricultural producers and small rural businesses to create renewable and energy-efficient systems.
Cooperative Development These grants finance the establishment and operation of centers for cooperative development. The primary purpose of this program is to enhance the economic condition of rural areas through the development of new cooperatives and improving operations of existing cooperatives, and encourage the development of value-added ventures.
Cooperative Opportunities and Problems Research This program encourages research, funded through cooperative agreements, on critical issues vital to the development and sustainability of agricultural and other rural cooperatives as a means of improving the quality of life in America's rural communities.
Cooperative Program This program helps farmers and rural communities become self-reliant through the use of cooperative organizations. Studies are conducted to support cooperatives that market farm products, purchase production supplies, and perform related business services. These studies concentrate on the financial, organizational, legal, social, and economic aspects of cooperative activity. Technical assistance and research is provided to improve cooperative performance in organizing new cooperatives, merging existing cooperatives, changing business structures, and developing strategies for growth. Applied research is conducted to give farmers and rural communities expert assistance pertaining to their cooperatives. The program also collects and publishes statistics regarding the role and scope of cooperative activity in U.S. agriculture. A bimonthly magazine, Rural Cooperatives, reports current developments and research for cooperative management leadership.
Economic Development These loans and grants finance economic development and job creation projects based on sound economic plans in rural areas. Loans and grants are available to any eligible USDA electric or telecommunications borrower to assist in developing rural areas from an economic standpoint, to create new job opportunities, and to help retain existing employment. Loans at zero interest are made primarily to finance business startup ventures and business expansion projects. Grants are made to eligible telephone and electric utilities to establish revolving loan programs operated at the local level. The revolving loan program provides capital to nonprofit entities and municipal organizations to finance business or community facilities which promote job creation in rural areas, for facilities which extend or improve medical care to rural residents, and...