DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250
Phone, 202-720-4623. Internet, www.usda.gov.
SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE Ann M. Veneman
Deputy Secretary James Moseley
Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign J.B. Penn
Deputy Under Secretaries Jim Butler, Floyd Gabler
Administrator, Farm Service Agency James Little
Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Ellen Terpstra
Administrator, Risk Management Ross J. Davidson, Jr.
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 Elsa A. Murano
Deputy Under Secretary Merle D. Pierson
Administrator, Food Safety and (vacancy)
Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Mark E. Rey
Deputy Under Secretary for Forestry Dave Tenny
Deputy Under Secretary for Mack Gray
Chief, Forest Service Dale Bosworth
Chief, Natural Resources Bruce Knight
Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Joseph J. Jen
Deputy Under Secretary Rodney J. Brown
Administrator, Agricultural Research Edward B. Knipling, Service Acting
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 Gilbert Gonzalez, Acting
Deputy Under Secretary Gilbert Gonzalez
Administrator, Rural Business- John Rosso
Administrator, Rural Housing Service Arthur A. Garcia
Administrator, Rural Utilities Hilda Gay Legg
Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations Mary Waters
Deputy Assistant Secretary Mike Torrey
Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory William T. Hawks
Deputy Under Secretary Chuck Lambert
Administrator, Agricultural A.J. Yates
Administrator, Animal and Plant Bobby R. Acord
Health Inspection Service
Administrator, Grain Inspection, Donna Reifschneider
Packers, and Stockyards Administration
Assistant Secretary for Administration (vacancy)
Deputy Assistant Secretary John Surina
Chairman, Board of Contract Appeals Howard A. Pollack
Judicial Officer William G. Jenson
Chief Judge, Administrative Law Marc Hillson, Acting
Director, Office of Ethics Raymond Sheehan
Director, Office of Human Resources Ruthie F. Jackson
Director, Office of Operations Priscilla Carey
Director, Office of Procurement and W.R. Ashworth
Director, Office of Small and James House
Disadvantaged Business Utilization
Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Vernon Parker
Associate Assistant Secretary Clyde Thompson
Director, Office of Civil Rights (vacancy)
Director, Office of Outreach (vacancy)
Chief Information Officer Scott Charbo
Deputy Chief Information Officer Ira L. Hobbs
Chief Financial Officer Patricia Healy, Acting
Deputy Chief Financial Officer Patricia Healy
General Counsel Nancy S. Bryson
Deputy General Counsel J. Michael Kelly
Inspector General Phyllis Fong
Deputy Inspector General Joyce N. Fleischman
Director, Office of Communications Alisa Harrison
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 Stephen B. Dewhurst
Director, Office of the Executive Secretariat Bruce Bundick
Director, Sustainable Development and Small Adela Backiel
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.
The rural development mission of USDA is to assist rural Americans in using their abilities to improve their quality of life. To accomplish this, USDA works to foster new cooperative relationships among Government, industry, and communities. The mission is carried out by the Rural Housing Service, which includes rural housing and rural community facility loan and grant programs; the Rural Business-Cooperative Service, which includes business and cooperative development programs; and the Rural Utilities Service, which includes telephone, electric, water, and sewer programs. Approximately 850 rural development field offices provide frontline delivery of all rural development loan and grant programs at the local level.
Rural Business-Cooperative Service
The mission of the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) is to enhance the quality of life for all rural Americans by providing leadership in building competitive businesses and sustainable cooperatives that can prosper in the global marketplace. To meet business credit needs in underserved areas, RBS business programs are usually leveraged with commercial, cooperative, or other private sector lenders. RBS business programs include:
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.
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.
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 Services 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. The Service's 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 Rural Utilities Service 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...