The United States Department of Agriculture is made up of 29 agencies and offices with nearly 100,000 employees who serve the American people at more than 4,500 locations across the country and abroad. Tom Vilsack is currently serving as the Nation's 30th Secretary of Agriculture.
https://www.usda.gov/ is the updated website for the agency.
On May 15, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation to establish the United States Department of Agriculture and two and a half years later in his final message to Congress, Lincoln called USDA "The People's Department." Through their work on food, agriculture, economic development, science, natural resource conservation and other issues, USDA has impacted the lives of generations of Americans.
It was Ellsworth's urging that led to the creation of the division; the Commissioner had a strong interest in agriculture and had collected and distributed seeds through members of Congress and agricultural societies. In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln created the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is responsible for ensuring that meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, wholesome, and properly labeled and packaged. The USDA attempts to address market failures through government subsides. An example of this is after the Great Depression the government payed farmers to produce less corn and wheat after the agricultural expansion and industrialization which caused supply to far outreach demand causing prices of agricultural commodities to crash through the floor. One of the current issues that the USDA is addressing is the subject of GMOs or Genetically Modified Organisms. Many people believe that organic food is somehow better than GMOs and safer to eat. But studies have found that GMOs are just as safe to eat as organic.