Tomorrow, the United States Department of Agriculture will celebrate its 150th anniversary. On May 15, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law an act of Congress establishing the USDA. It has helped support growth and success of American agriculture, drive economic growth and conserve natural resources. President Lincoln nicknamed the USDA “The People’s Department”.
The United Stated Department of Agriculture was established during a time when pioneers used mule drawn single row plows to break up the tough prairie sod and nearly half of all Americans lived on farms. Undoubtedly, President Lincoln never would have imagined a day when only 2 percent of the population lived on farms and they used sophisticated machinery and GPS tracking to plant a crop.
Over the past 150 years, American agriculture has been a model example of innovation and technology. Through the USDA’s work on food technology, science, natural resource conservation and economic development, our industry touches every American citizen. Our industry has evolved to meet the world’s growing demand for food, feed and fuel while decreasing our environmental impact.
As USDA celebrates this momentous milestone, we want to take this opportunity to thank the work and visionary from the department and their staff. The People’s Department will continue address the changing needs of agriculture and promote healthy communities and a stronger nation.