The USDA seal includes the inscription “Agriculture is the foundation of manufacturing and commerce.” It’s fair to say that it is also the foundation of a stable and caring society because agriculture feeds and clothes the people. For nearly 50 years, it’s been the job of APHIS to protect American agriculture’s ability to feed and clothe the world by keeping it healthy. Every American and untold millions of people around the world benefit from healthy and profitable U.S. farms and ranches. It is my honor on behalf of over 8,400 employees, working in all 50 States, 4 territories, and 35 countries to report to you on APHIS’ accomplishments in 2019. Some of the highlights include:
- 100 percent of the United States is now free of the plum pox virus, thanks to the work of Plant Protection and Quarantine, ending a 20-year battle with the most devastating viral disease of stone fruit worldwide.
- Unlike those in many countries, Americans don’t have to face African swine fever and foot-and-mouth disease, because Veterinary Services ensured there were no incursions of these most devastating of foreign animal diseases.
- More than 700 million air passengers flew more safely because Wildlife Services protected them from wildlife strikes at more than 870 U.S. airports and military bases around the globe.
- Dogs in breeding operations, primates in research projects, and zoo animals all were safer and healthier because 99 percent of Animal Welfare Act (AWA) licensees and registrants are in substantial compliance thanks to inspections, guidance, and outreach by Animal Care.
- All Americans have a more abundant and more affordable food supply, and many others overcame devastating hardships, because more than 1,300 APHIS employees took time away from their families, homes, and regular duties to fight 38 emergency incidents like pest and disease outbreaks, natural disasters, and other threats to U.S. agriculture and health and safety.
And that’s just a small representation of the things reflected in our 2019 Impact Report. Please consider these numbers:
- APHIS protected 900 million acres of U.S. farmland.
- APHIS made it possible for $137 billion in U.S. agricultural exports to move around the world.
- APHIS helped keep 21.6 million Americans employed in U.S. agriculture, food, and related industries.
I hope you’ll take some time to review the APHIS 2019 Impact Report to find out more about the impact of
our work across the nation and worldwide.
You can also find more information about the impact of APHIS’ work by viewing the short videos linked below. Our Deputy Administrators tell the story of an agency with many missions, but one common purpose: keeping the American people fed, clothed, and safe.
Deputy Administrator Video Messages: