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In 1862, when President Abraham Lincoln founded the U.S. Department of Agriculture, he called it the "people's Department." In Lincoln's day, 90 percent of the people were farmers who were in need of good seed and information to grow their crops. Today, USDA continues Lincoln's legacy by serving all Americans, the two percent who farm as well as everyone who eats, wears clothes, lives in a house, or visits a rural area or a national forest.

USDA remains committed to assisting America's farmers and ranchers. But we also do much more--

USDA leads the Federal anti-hunger effort with the Food Stamp, School Lunch, School Breakfast, and the WIC Programs. USDA is the steward of our nation's 192 million acres of national forests and rangelands.

USDA is the country's largest conservation agency, encouraging voluntary efforts to protect soil, water, and wildlife on the 70 percent of America's lands that are in private hands.

USDA brings housing, modern telecommunications, and safe drinking water to rural America.

USDA is responsible for the safety of meat, poultry, and egg products.

USDA is a research leader in everything from human nutrition to new crop technologies that allow us to grow more food and fiber using less water and pesticides.

USDA helps ensure open markets for U.S. agricultural products and provides food aid to needy people overseas.

"Should USDA officially confirm the presence of a disease, such as FMD [Foot and Mouth Disease], the affected herd and all cattle, sheep, goats, swine, and susceptible wildlife -- infected or not -- within a minimum 10-kilometer zone around the infected farm would be killed. USDA would wait for confirmation before slaughtering animals to avoid causing unnecessary panic among producers and severe market fluctuations. If the disease were to spread beyond the initial zone, authorities would continue to quarantine and kill animals until the disease was 'stamped out.'" - "Homeland Security Much Is Being Done to Protect Agriculture from a Terrorist Attack, but Important Challenges Remain," a report to Congress by "Homeland Security" http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05214.pdf (page 31 of  pages) More on "NAIS:" http://www.propertyrightsresearch.org/2006/articles07/national_animal_id.htm

"Food is Power! We use it to control behavior. Some may call it bribery. We do not apologize." - Catherine Bertini, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Agriculture, speaking at the UN World Food Summit, Nov 1996.