The most well known mission of the USDA is their role in Food Safety. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) ensures that the Nation's commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, and properly labeled, and packaged.
USDA also has seven other mission areas:
Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) is the Department's focal point for the nation's farmers and ranchers and other stewards of private agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest lands. FPAC agencies implement programs designed to mitigate the significant risks of farming through crop insurance services, conservation programs and technical assistance, and commodity, lending, and disaster programs.
Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services works to harness the Nation's agricultural abundance to end hunger and improve health in the United States. Its agencies administer federal domestic nutrition assistance programs and the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, which links scientific research to the nutrition needs of consumers through science-based dietary guidance, nutrition policy coordination, and nutrition education.
Marketing and Regulatory Programs 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.
Natural Resources and Environment ensures the health of the land through sustainable management through the Forest Service (FS). Its agency works to prevent damage to natural resources and the environment, restore the resource base, and promote good land management.
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.
Rural Development is committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in all of rural America by providing financial programs to support essential public facilities and services as water and sewer systems, housing, health clinics, emergency service facilities and electric and telephone service. Rural Development promotes economic development by providing loans to businesses through banks and community-managed lending pools, while also assisting communities to participate in community empowerment programs.
Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs (TFAA) role is to provide farmers and ranchers with opportunities to compete in the global marketplace. TFAA is the Department's lead on trade policy with primary responsibility to ensure USDA speaks with a unified voice on international agriculture issues domestically and abroad. It oversees and facilitates foreign market access and promotes opportunities for U.S. agriculture through various trade programs and high-level government negotiations. Also, within the TFAA mission area is the U.S. Codex Office, which coordinates U.S. participation in the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a United Nations body that sets international food standards while protecting consumer health and ensuring fair trade practices. The Office leads the overall U.S. Codex Program, which is an interagency partnership that engages a large number of federal agency officials, and industry and consumer stakeholders, to advance science-based food standards for the benefit of the United States and the worldwide community.