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USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the USDA's main in-house scientific research agency. Its job is finding solutions to agricultural problems that affect Americans every day, from field to table. These include:

  • Protecting crops and livestock from pests and disease.
  • Improving the quality and safety of agricultural products.
  • Determining the best nutrition for people from infancy to old age.
  • Sustaining our soil and other natural resources.
  • Ensuring profitability for farmers and processors.
  • Keeping costs down for consumers.
  • Providing research support to other federal agencies.

Lasting solutions to these problems are unlikely to have a quick commercial payoff that might otherwise convince private industry to do the research. ARS works toward solutions by pursuing scientific discoveries, but its task is only complete with the transfer of discoveries to society as useful technology and knowledge.

ARS scientists frequently collaborate with research partners from universities, companies, other organizations, and other countries. ARS research is organized into 22 national programs that bring coordination, communication, and empowerment to the more than 1,200 research projects it carries out. The national programs focus on the relevance, impact, and quality of ARS research.

NIFA partners with ARS to bring the latest research on human nutrition and other topics that relate to child care and school-age care to local citizens across America.


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