(a) The Secretary of Agriculture shall procure and preserve all information concerning agriculture, rural development, aquaculture, and human nutrition which he can obtain by means of books and correspondence, and by practical and scientific experiments, accurate records of which experiments shall be kept in his office, by the collection of statistics, and by any other appropriate means within his power; he shall collect new and valuable seeds and plants; shall test, by cultivation, the value of such of them as may require such tests; shall propagate such as may be worthy of propagation; and shall distribute them among agriculturists; and he shall advise the President, other members of his Cabinet, and the Congress on policies and programs designed to improve the quality of life for people living in the rural and nonmetropolitan regions of the Nation.
(b) The Secretary is authorized to initiate or expand research and development efforts related to solution of problems of rural water supply, rural sewage and solid waste management, rural housing, rural industrialization, and technology appropriate to small- and moderate-sized family farming operations, and any other problem that the Secretary may determine has an effect upon the economic development or the quality of life in rural areas.
(R.S. §526; Feb. 9, 1889, ch. 122, §§1, 4, 25 Stat. 659; Pub. L. 92–419, title VI, §603(b), Aug. 30, 1972, 86 Stat. 675; Pub. L. 94–273, §7(4), Apr. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 378; Pub. L. 95–113, title XV, §1502(b), Sept. 29, 1977, 91 Stat. 1021; Pub. L. 96–355, §5, Sept. 24, 1980, 94 Stat. 1174.)
R.S. §526 derived from act May 15, 1862, ch. 72, §3, 12 Stat. 387.
Section was formerly classified to section 514 of Title 5 prior to the general revision and enactment of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, by Pub. L. 89–554, §1, Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 378.
1980—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 96–355 inserted provisions relating to technology appropriate to small- and moderate-sized family farming operations, and struck out provisions relating to the national rural development program and goals, and accompanying annual report.
1977—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 95–113 inserted references to aquaculture and human nutrition.
1976—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 94–273 substituted "December" for "September".
1972—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 92–419, §603(b)(1)–(3), designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), provided for information concerning rural development, and prescribed advisory functions of the Secretary, respectively.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 92–419, §603(b)(4), added subsec. (b).
Secretary of Agriculture substituted for Commissioner of Agriculture in text pursuant to sections 1 and 4 of act Feb. 9, 1889, which are classified to section 2202 of this title. See, also, section 2205 of this title.
Amendment by Pub. L. 96–355 effective Oct. 1, 1980, see section 10 of Pub. L. 96–355, set out as an Effective Date note under section 2204b of this title.
Amendment by Pub. L. 95–113 effective Oct. 1, 1977, see section 1901 of Pub. L. 95–113, set out as a note under section 1307 of this title.
Functions of all officers, agencies, and employees of Department of Agriculture transferred, with certain exceptions, to Secretary of Agriculture by 1953 Reorg. Plan No. 2, §1, eff. June 4, 1953, 18 F.R. 3219, 67 Stat. 633, set out as a note under section 2201 of this title.
Functions of Secretary of Agriculture administered through Bureau of Biological Survey relating to conservation of wildlife, game, and migratory birds transferred to Secretary of the Interior by 1939 Reorg. Plan No. II, §4(f), eff. July 1, 1939, 4 F.R. 2731, 53 Stat. 1433, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.
Delegation of authority to Secretary with respect to nation's food program during war emergency, see Ex. Ord. No. 9280, paraphrased as a note under section 452 of this title.
For assignment of certain emergency preparedness functions to Secretary of Agriculture, see Parts 1, 2, and 3 of Ex. Ord. No. 12656, Nov. 18, 1988, 53 F.R. 47491, set out as a note under section 5195 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare.
Pub. L. 107–171, title X, §10906, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 538, provided that:
"(1) an insular area (as defined in section 1404 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3103) (as amended by section 7502(a)); or
"(2) a State other than 1 of the 48 contiguous States.
"(1) barriers to efficient and competitive transportation of inputs and products by geographically disadvantaged farmers and ranchers; and
"(2) means of encouraging and assisting geographically disadvantaged farmers and ranchers—
"(A) to own and operate farms and ranches; and
"(B) to participate equitably in the full range of agricultural programs offered by the Department of Agriculture."
Pub. L. 107–171, title X, §10910, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 539, provided that:
"(1) agricultural commodity, price support, and farm income support programs (collectively referred to in this section as 'agricultural commodity programs');
"(2) conservation programs (including financial and technical assistance);
"(3) agricultural credit programs;
"(4) rural development programs; and
"(5) forestry programs.
"(1) the extent to which agricultural commodity programs and conservation programs are consistent with tribal goals and priorities regarding the sustainable use of agricultural land;
"(2) strategies for increasing tribal participation in agricultural commodity programs and conservation programs;
"(3) the educational and training opportunities available to Indian tribes and members of Indian tribes in the practical, technical, and professional aspects of agriculture and land management; and
"(4) the development and management of agricultural land under the jurisdiction of Indian tribes in accordance with integrated resource management plans that—
"(A) ensure proper management of the land;
"(B) produce increased economic returns;
"(C) promote employment opportunities; and
"(D) improve the social and economic well-being of Indian tribes and members of Indian tribes.
"(1) the Secretary of the Interior;
"(2) local officers and employees of the Department of Agriculture; and
"(3) program recipients.
"(1) a description of the results of the review conducted under this section;
"(2) recommendations for program improvements; and
"(3) a description of actions that will be taken to carry out the improvements."
Pub. L. 103–354, title III, §306, Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3241, provided that:
For order of succession during any period when both Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Agriculture are unable to perform functions and duties of office of Secretary, see Ex. Ord. No. 13542, May 13, 2010, 75 F.R. 27921, listed in a table under section 3345 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.