U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) inspectors Geno DeSanto and Bob Schofield examine bananas at the Philadelphia Food Distribution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 21, 2008.USDA photo.
Exceptional grading, standardization and auditing services are the benchmarks that were set by USDA’s Fresh and Processed Products Divisions. The two organizations within USDA supported the produce industry for nearly a century, providing quality grading and auditing services that businesses and consumers could trust.
Now, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has merged the two divisions into one unit that provides the same excellent service. The new Specialty Crops Inspection (SCI) Division offers voluntary, audit-based inspection programs – utilizing Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices (GAP/GHP). We will also perform uniform, quality grading services based on the U.S. standards for fresh, frozen and processed products. Read more »
AMS Poultry Program employees Mark Perigen (left) and Gerald Brockman (right) prepare filet mignon on a tailgate-style grill. They prefer a charcoal grill because of the smoky taste it offers. Photo courtesy Mark Perigen
April showers have passed and barbecues are in full bloom. Perfect weather and longer days make the month of May the perfect time to celebrate National Barbecue Month. Whether you think barbecuing requires gas or charcoal, or that ribs should only be parboiled, or if you insist that asparagus must be sautéed with olive oil, it is time to fire up the BBQ.
Quality matters when it comes to barbecue. The graders at the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) certify that meats and other products are of a desired quality. Our grades account for factors such as tenderness, juiciness, and flavor. These are major selling points for any good barbecued foods. When shopping for meats, you can easily identify the USDA grade on most packages. Read more »
Click to view the full version of our Certified Egg Facts infographic.
Whether you prepare them for Easter dinner or as part of a Passover Seder Plate, eggs will certainly be the rave this weekend. Coupled with egg dyeing, decorating, or hunting, it’s likely that you will find yourself searching for eggs in the super market. The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) wants to pass along some information to help make your trip to the store a success.
When strolling down the dairy aisle, you will see that the egg displays are full of several brands, each garnering various grading shields and marketing claims. Remembering a few key points will help you make an informed and egg-celent choice: Read more »
The Market News Room at U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in February 1947. USDA Market News reporters have provided almost a century of insight for farmers and commodity trading.
Over the years, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has changed and evolved to meet the regulatory, statutory and market demands of U.S. agriculture. The agency’s role, its name and place within the structure of USDA have all evolved over the years. What hasn’t changed is the commitment to helping U.S. farmers successfully compete domestically and worldwide. Read more »
A screenshot from the electronic grading system showing USDA Choice, Yield Grade 2 beef. The left is the natural color view of the cut; the right is the instrument enhanced view that details the amount of marbling, size, and fat thickness. Beef grading is a complex and detailed process, requiring graders to think and calculate quickly with great accuracy. Using technology to compliment and supplement the onsite human graders generates an efficient and more precise process.
The USDA Choice and USDA Prime grade shields are highly regarded, both domestically and internationally, as symbols of high-quality American beef. Cattle producers and feeders increasingly rely on USDA grades to determine payments for their cattle—a vital link to supporting and sustaining rural America. Read more »