|Jurisdiction||Under United States federal government, but operates worldwide|
|Headquarters|| Jamie L. Whitten Building, Washington, D.C. |
|Annual budget||$3.693 billion (FY2021)|
|Parent department||United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)|
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture; it maintains programs in five commodity areas:cotton and tobacco; dairy; fruit and vegetable; livestock and seed; and poultry. These programs provide testing, standardization, grading and market news services for those commodities, and oversee marketing agreements and orders, administer research and promotion programs, and purchase commodities for federal food programs. The AMS enforces certain federal laws such as the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act and the Federal Seed Act. The AMS budget is $1.2 billion. It is headquartered in the Jamie L. Whitten Building in Washington, D.C.
As of July 2021, AMS is led by Administrator Bruce Summers.
Established in 1939 by Agriculture Secretary Henry A. Wallace (later Vice President) through the merging and consolidation of various United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) bureaus and programs, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) was tasked with facilitating fair and efficient marketing of American agricultural products, including food, fiber, and specialty crops both domestically and internationally.
Most functions of the new Service were later consolidated into the Agricultural Marketing Administration in 1942 before being shifted again several times in the 1940s and 1950s. The agency was once renamed back into the AMS from 1953-1965 before becoming the Consumer and Marketing Service. In April 1972, the current structure of the AMS was officially established under the Department of Agriculture. AMS also began enforcing parts of the 1990 Organic Foods Production Act.Over the decades, AMS grew to also support ranchers, importers, exporters, and other agriculture industry groups.
In 2017, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue shifted several USDA offices, such as the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) and several program areas from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), into the Agricultural Marketing Service with the goal of better providing for farmers, ranchers, and producers while improving customer service and efficiency.
AMS' primary function is to market American agricultural products inside and outside the United States. In addition to this, AMS also funds, administers, and supports agricultural research; grades and certifies the safety of agricultural products; and disseminates information and expertise in the agriculture and agriculture marking industries.
The Livestock and Poultry Program (L&P) supports federal food and nutrition programs like the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
AMS also enforces the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA), Federal Seed Act, Organic Foods Production Act,and Packers and Stockyards Act. The Warehouse and Commodity Management Division of the Fair Trade Practices Program administers United States Warehouse Act and Commodity Credit Corporation storage agreements.
AMS is led by an administrator assisted by an associate and deputy associate administrator. Currently, these individuals are Administrator Bruce Summers, Associate Administrator Erin Morris, and Deputy Associate Administrator Lorenzo Tribbett, all longtime AMS employees.Additionally, the Cotton and Tobacco Program is led by a Deputy Administrator and several Associate Deputy Administrators.
Structurally, AMS is headed by the Office of the Administrator; below the Administrator are the Legislative and Regulatory Review Staff, Public Affairs Staff, Civil Rights Staff (within the Office of Civil Rights),and Administrative Management Staff. Beyond that, the AMS is divided into nine programs and one service which are further subdivided into divisions and staffs. AMS' nine programs are:
The lone service of AMS is:
There is also an Information Technology Service (ITS).
Additionally, AMS receives input and counsel from the Advisory Committee on Universal Cotton Standards, Fruit & Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (FVIAC), Grain Inspection Advisory Committee, National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), and Plant Variety Protection Board.
The AMS National Organic Program (NOP) develops, implements, and administers national production, handling, and labeling standards for organic agricultural products. The NOP also accredits the certifying agents (foreign and domestic) who inspect organic production and handling operations to certify that they meet USDA standards.
The AMS Science and Technology Program provides scientific support services to the agricultural community and AMS programs, including laboratory analyses, laboratory quality assurance, and coordination of scientific research conducted by other agencies for AMS. In addition, the program's Plant Variety Protection Office administers the Plant Variety Protection Act, by issuing Certificates of Protection for new varieties of plants which are sexually reproduced (by seed) or tuber-propagated. The program also conducts a program to collect and analyze data about pesticide residue levels in agricultural commodities. It also administers the Pesticide Recordkeeping program, which requires all certified private applicators of federally restricted-use pesticide to maintain records of all applications. The records will be put into a data base to help analyze agricultural pesticide use.
The AMS Transportation and Marketing Program supplies research and technical information regarding the nation's food transportation system to producers, producer groups, shippers, exporters, rural communities, carriers, government agencies and universities. The program also administers a program involving financial grants to States for marketing improvements. In addition, the division assists in the planning and design of marketing facilities, processes, and methods in cooperation with state and local governments, universities, farmer groups, and other segments of the U.S. food industry. This program is intended to enhance the overall effectiveness of the food marketing system, provide better quality products to the consumer at reasonable cost, improve market access for growers with farms of small to medium size, and promote regional economic development.
The AMS administers the commodity checkoff programs.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), also known as the Agriculture Department, is the federal executive department responsible for developing and executing federal laws related to farming, forestry, rural economic development, and food. It aims to meet the needs of commercial farming and livestock food production, promotes agricultural trade and production, works to assure food safety, protects natural resources, fosters rural communities and works to end hunger in the United States and internationally.
Agriculture is a major industry in the United States, which is a net exporter of food. As of the 2007 census of agriculture, there were 2.2 million farms, covering an area of 922 million acres (1,441,000 sq mi), an average of 418 acres per farm.
The organic movement broadly refers to the organizations and individuals involved worldwide in the promotion of organic food and other organic products. It started during the first half of the 20th century, when modern large-scale agricultural practices began to appear.
Organic certification is a certification process for producers of organic food and other organic agricultural products. In general, any business directly involved in food production can be certified, including seed suppliers, farmers, food processors, retailers and restaurants. A lesser known counterpart is certification for organic textiles that includes certification of textile products made from organically grown fibres.
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is the United States Department of Agriculture agency that was formed by merging the farm loan portfolio and staff of the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) and the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS). The Farm Service Agency implements agricultural policy, administers credit and loan programs, and manages conservation, commodity, disaster and farm marketing programs through a national network of offices. The Administrator of FSA reports to the Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm Production and Conservation. The current Administrator is Richard Fordyce. The FSA of each state is led by a politically appointed State Executive Director (SED).
The National Organic Program (NOP) is the federal regulatory framework in the United States of America governing organic food. It is also the name of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) program responsible for administering and enforcing the regulatory framework. The core mission of the NOP is to protect the integrity of the USDA organic seal. The seal is used for products adhering to USDA standards that contain at least 95% organic ingredients.
The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is the foreign affairs agency with primary responsibility for the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) overseas programs — market development, international trade agreements and negotiations, and the collection of statistics and market information. It also administers the USDA's export credit guarantee and food aid programs and helps increase income and food availability in developing nations by mobilizing expertise for agriculturally led economic growth. The FAS mission statement reads, "Linking U.S. agriculture to the world to enhance export opportunities and global food security," and its motto is "Linking U.S. Agriculture to the World."
The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is the statistical branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System. NASS has 12 regional offices throughout the United States and Puerto Rico and a headquarters unit in Washington, D.C.. NASS conducts hundreds of surveys and issues nearly 500 national reports each year on issues including agricultural production, economics, demographics and the environment. NASS also conducts the United States Census of Agriculture every five years.
California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) is a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-accredited organic certifying agency and trade association, located in Santa Cruz, California. Formed in 1973, CCOF was the first organic certification entity in the United States.
The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) is a wholly owned United States government corporation that was created in 1933 to "stabilize, support, and protect farm income and prices". The CCC is authorized to buy, sell, lend, make payments, and engage in other activities for the purpose of increasing production, stabilizing prices, assuring adequate supplies, and facilitating the efficient marketing of agricultural commodities.
An organic product is made from materials produced by organic agriculture. Most well known organic products are organic food items, however clothing and personal care items can also be made with organic agriculture.
Food policy is the area of public policy concerning how food is produced, processed, distributed, purchased, or provided. Food policies are designed to influence the operation of the food and agriculture system balanced with ensuring human health needs. This often includes decision-making around production and processing techniques, marketing, availability, utilization, and consumption of food, in the interest of meeting or furthering social objectives. Food policy can be promulgated on any level, from local to global, and by a government agency, business, or organization. Food policymakers engage in activities such as regulation of food-related industries, establishing eligibility standards for food assistance programs for the poor, ensuring safety of the food supply, food labeling, and even the qualifications of a product to be considered organic.
Title 7 of the United States Code outlines the role of agriculture in the United States Code.
The Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services was the third-ranking official in the United States Department of Agriculture prior to reorganization of several mission areas, announced on May 11, 2017. The mission area of USDA's purpose was to "help to keep America's farmers and ranchers in business as they face the uncertainties of weather and markets..." and that "...deliver[s] commodity, credit, conservation, disaster, and emergency assistance programs that help improve the stability and strength of the agricultural economy." The Under Secretary was traditionally appointed to serve as the President of the Commodity Credit Corporation.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is a cabinet-level agency in the government of California. Established in 1919 by the California State Legislature and signed into law by Governor William Stephens, the Department of Food and Agriculture is responsible for ensuring the state's food safety, the protection of the state's agriculture from invasive species, and promoting the California agricultural industry.
The agricultural policy of the United States is composed primarily of the periodically renewed federal U.S. farm bills. The Farm Bills have a rich history which initially sought to provide income and price support to US farmers and prevent them from adverse global as well as local supply and demand shocks. This implied an elaborate subsidy program which supports domestic production by either direct payments or through price support measures. The former incentivizes farmers to grow certain crops which are eligible for such payments through environmentally conscientious practices of farming. The latter protects farmers from vagaries of price fluctuations by ensuring a minimum price and fulfilling their shortfalls in revenue upon a fall in price. Lately, there are other measures through which the government encourages crop insurance and pays part of the premium for such insurance against various unanticipated outcomes in agriculture.
In the United States, the Special Milk Program, sometimes known as the School Milk Program, offers federal reimbursements for milk served to children in an eligible participating outlet, which includes schools, child care institutions, settlement houses, homeless shelters, or summer camps. This federal aid program is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture under the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).
The Pesticide Data Program (PDP) is a program initiated in 1991 by the Agricultural Marketing Service division of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The PDP is empowered to collect pesticide residue data on selected food commodities, primarily fruits and vegetables. PDP produces an annual summary; the last such summary for 2016 data was released in early 2018.
The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) authorizes a National Organic Program (NOP) to be administered by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The program is based on federal regulations that define standard organic farming practices and on a National List of acceptable organic production inputs. Private and state certifiers visit producers, processors, and handlers to certify' that their operations abide by the standards. Once certified, these operations may affix a label on their product stating that it "Meets USDA Organic Requirements." It is illegal for anyone to use the word "organic" on a product if it does not meet the standards set in the law and regulations. The regulations under the OFPA are intended to set uniform minimum standards for organic production. However, states may adopt additional requirements after review and approval by USDA. AMS re-accredits certifying agents every 5 years, maintains federal oversight to assure truth in labeling, and provides assurance that imported organic products have been produced under standards that are equivalent to the U.S. standards.
Rayne Pegg is the Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture, and was appointed on July 6, 2009 by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. In her position, she has the responsibility of overseeing AMS policies and programs. AMS administers programs that facilitate the efficient, fair marketing of U.S. agricultural products, including food, fiber, and specialty crops. She participated in the World Trade Organization and US-Korea FTA negotiations, and was previously appointed to USDA’s Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee on Fruits and Vegetables.