USDA Research and Extension Agencies:

Missions, Structures, and Budgets

RCED-93-74FS: Published: Feb 18, 1993. Publicly Released: Mar 11, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the missions, programs, organizational structures, and staffing and funding of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the Cooperative State Research Service (CSRS), the Extension Service (ES), and the Soil Conservation Service (SCS).

GAO found that: (1) ARS serves as a research agency for the Department of Agriculture and has acquired new food safety and sustainable agriculture research responsibilities; (2) CSRS supports agricultural research and education programs through grant administration; (3) ES provides national leadership to the Cooperative Extension System and assists in financing the System's educational programs; (4) SCS is responsible for a national soil and water conservation program; (5) the four agencies accounted for about 20 percent of USDA total staff years in fiscal year (FY) 1991; (6) ARS, CSRS, and ES are directed by the Assistant Secretary for Science and Education, whereas SCS is directed by the Assistant Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment; (7) from FY 1987 through 1991 Congress provided $10.3 billion in funding for the four agencies; and (8) SCS received $3.9 billion, ARS received $2.7 billion, CSRS received $1.9 billion, and ES received $1.8 billion.

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