In the 151 years since the U.S. Department of Agriculture was founded, America’s oldest industry has evolved to meet the changing needs of our modern agricultural landscape. From growing overseas markets, building a 21st century rural infrastructure, and finding ways to address the challenges of climate change, USDA has worked beside farmers, businesses, and community leaders to streamline programs and spur innovative solutions for today’s challenges.
For USDA, that also means looking inward and changing the way we do business. We have done this by designing initiatives that collectively utilize the full scope of our mission, better focusing resources and staff across the Department to meet the needs of the communities we serve using modern tools, technology, and processes.
USDA’s recently expanded StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity initiative illustrates this trend with a broad commitment to rally available tools and technical assistance to combat persistent poverty in rural communities in 20 states.
Our Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative aims to support the rapidly expanding local and regional food market with new products and services, as well as tailored cross-agency web resources and data that illustrate opportunities and promote local and regional food systems.
And finally, through the Blueprint for Stronger Service, USDA responded to the uncertain fiscal environment by streamlining mission critical work and taking a close look at operations to find ways to cut costs and modernize processes to be better stewards of taxpayer dollars – with great results.
Over the next month we’ll share more about the ways that USDA has evolved to meet the needs of modern agriculture in America. We’ll use hashtag #AgInnovates on social media to share these stories, but we want to hear from you too. In the video above, Secretary Vilsack asked you to lend your voice to our collective story of how YOUR community has evolved to meet the needs of the 21st century. A new hospital? Technology enhanced planning, harvest, or conservation practices? A better transportation infrastructure? Education programs to meet the needs of today’s high tech ag sector?
Use #AgInnovates to let us know. We can’t wait to hear from you.
In the three months since Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced USDA’s “Blueprint for Stronger Service,” the Food and Nutrition Service has continued to develop cost-saving and efficient strategies that will save taxpayers money and streamline operations.
The “Blueprint for Stronger Service” was designed to modernize and accelerate service delivery while improving the customer experience through the use of innovative technologies and business solutions. When the plan was announced Jan. 9, it called for USDA to close 259 domestic offices and facilities, as well as consolidating, standardizing or centralizing a number of other products and services. Read more »
Does your citrus tree have spotted leaves or fruit with brown raised spots or small lopsided fruit? Good news, USDA released a free Save Our Citrus iPhone app that makes it easy to identify and report the four leading citrus diseases: citrus greening, citrus canker, citrus black spot and sweet orange scab.
In just a few steps, the Save Our Citrus app, available in English and Spanish, allows you to report the symptoms, upload a photo and receive an individual response back from citrus experts. Read more »
With a single phone call or e-mail, exporters can now reach FAS personnel who can provide information on export certification, registration, and documentation requirements.
USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is helping U.S. agricultural exporters navigate the complexities of the global trading system with its new trade facilitation desk. The FAS trade facilitation desk is just one example of how FAS is streamlining and improving its services to exporters as part of the USDA-wide Blueprint for Stronger Service initiative. The Blueprint is helping USDA modernize and accelerate service delivery while improving the customer experience through use of innovative technologies and business solutions, like the trade facilitation desk.
With a single phone call or e-mail, exporters can now reach FAS personnel who can provide information on export certification, registration, and documentation requirements. The trade facilitation desk also provides troubleshooting support if an exporter runs into issues with a shipment being detained or refused at its destination. Read more »
Today’s reality is that Federal budgets are declining and agencies must address the change without sacrificing quality service to the American people. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), as part of USDA’s Blueprint for Stronger Service, is committed to making the best use of available resources to provide a high level of service for its customers. APHIS is in the process of streamlining both our operations and our processes to benefit producers, stakeholders and the American public. Read more »
A blueprint guides the decisions of an entire team of craftspeople toward a common goal of creating something that serves a purpose and withstands time and the elements. Over several decades now, U.S. agriculture has become the second most-productive sector of our economy. Today, net farm income is at record levels while farm debt has been cut in half. Overall, American agriculture supports 1 in 12 jobs in the United States and provides American consumers with 83 percent of the food we consume. In other words, U.S. agriculture is both resilient and a productive economic driver.
While America’s farmers, ranchers and growers are the primary architects of U.S. agriculture’s success, there is large team in place that helps to drive the success of our agriculture industry, and USDA’s Farm Service Agency is a proud member of that team. And FSA’s guide in building a more modern, efficient service organization that is closely in tune with the long-term vitality of rural America is the Blueprint for Stronger Service. Read more »