This category covers government establishments primarily engaged in the planning, administration, and coordination of agricultural programs for production, marketing, and utilization, including related research, education, and promotion activities. Establishments responsible for regulation and control of the grading, inspection, and warehousing of agricultural products; the grading and inspection of foods; and the handling of plants and animals are classified here. This government group also includes such entities as agricultural extension services, fair boards, marketing, and consumer services.
Regulation of Agricultural Marketing and Commodities
Government establishments primarily engaged in the administration of programs for developing economic data about agriculture and trade in agricultural products are classified in SIC 9611: Administration of General Economic Programs. Government establishments primarily engaged in programs for conservation of agricultural resources are classified in SIC 9512: Land, Mineral, Wildlife, and Forest Conservation. Government establishments primarily engaged in programs to provide food to people are classified in SIC 9441: Administration of Social, Human Resource, and Income Maintenance Programs.
The major federal agency in this category is the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This cabinet-level agency, established in 1862, works to improve and maintain farms, to cultivate markets for U.S. agricultural exports, and to regulate the integrity of farm commodities. These goals are accomplished through its various programs (e.g., loans and subsidy payments), marketing and outreach efforts, research, and regulations. The USDA works in conjunction with agriculture departments in states and territories.
While many of the early U.S. presidents considered themselves farmers, a cabinet department to address the needs of the country's largely agrarian society did not come into existence until the mid-nineteenth century. In 1839, Congress appropriated $1,000 for the collection of agriculture-related statistics and the distribution of seeds; this function was assigned to the U.S. Patent Office because Commissioner of Patents Henry L. Ellsworth supported aid to agriculture and the number of agricultural patents...