Under the leadership of the Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics (REE), the REE mission area provides Federal leadership for the discovery and dissemination of science-based knowledge to address the wide ranging problems and opportunities that come under the broad heading of food and agriculture. The public increasingly expects sound science, accurate data, and objective analysis to be an integral part of public decision-making.
Building on the extraordinary possibilities of cutting-edge research and new technologies, REE is more capable than ever of delivering environmentally and economically sound solutions to new challenges in production agriculture, food safety, and nutrition. It is also well positioned to ensure that new knowledge and technologies generated by the REE agencies are transferred to the farmers, ranchers, consumers, food processors, and others who will use them.
The mission area consists of the Office of the Under Secretary for REE within the Office of the Secretary and four agencies: the Agricultural Research Service, the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, the Economic Research Service, and the National Agricultural Statistics Service. The Under Secretary for REE, supported by the REE office, provides leadership and overall guidance in shaping the food and agricultural research agenda for the Nation, bringing together and listening to the research and stakeholder community on common interests and concerns. The Under Secretary also oversees management of the agency programs, promoting collaboration with other USDA mission area agencies and responsiveness to their research needs.
Working with agencies across the government and at research organizations across the country, the four REE agencies conduct programs spanning the biological, physical, and social sciences related to agricultural research, economic analysis, statistics, outreach, and higher education. The agencies and their missions are:
Agricultural Research Service (ARS). As USDA's principal in-house biological research agency, ARS provides the scientific knowledge and technologies needed to ensure the viability of American agriculture. It conducts research to address agricultural problems of high national priority and aggressively works to transfer research results to the marketplace. The work of ARS provides the scientific base for the quality, affordability, safety, and variety of the food and agricultural products that all Americans enjoy.
Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES). In partnership with the land-grant universities and other public and private sector organizations, CSREES provides the focus and funding to advance a global system of extramural research, extension, and higher education in the food and agricultural sciences and related environmental, social, and human sciences to benefit people, communities, and the Nation.
Economic Research Service (ERS). The Economic Research Service provides economic analysis on efficiency, efficacy, and equity issues related to agriculture, food, the environment, and rural development to improve public and private decision-making. ERS economic analysis is shaped primarily for use in the decision-making process by policymakers, though the ultimate beneficiaries of informed public and private decision-making are the American people.
National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). NASS serves the basic agricultural and rural data needs of the people of the United States , agricultural workers, and rural residents by objectively providing important, usable, and accurate statistical information and services needed to make informed decisions. NASS statistics keep those involved with America 's agriculture well-informed, provide the basic information necessary to keep agricultural markets stable and efficient, and help maintain a "level playing field" for all users of agricultural statistics.