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About ARS

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific in-house research agency. Our job is finding solutions to agricultural problems that affect Americans every day from field to table. Here are a few numbers to illustrate the scope of our organization:

  • 750 research projects within 17 National Programs
  • 2000 scientists and post docs
  • 6,000 other employees
  • 90+ research locations, including overseas laboratories
  • $1.2 billion fiscal year budget

Mission Statement

ARS conducts research to develop and transfer solutions to agricultural problems of high national priority and provide information access and dissemination to:

  • Ensure high-quality, safe food, and other agricultural products;
  • Assess the nutritional needs of Americans;
  • Sustain a competitive agricultural economy;
  • Enhance the natural resource base and the environment;
  • Provide economic opportunities for rural citizens, communities, and society as a whole; and
  • Provide the infrastructure necessary to create and maintain a diversified workplace


The ARS vision is to lead America towards a better future through agricultural research and information.


Acting ARS Administrator is Dr. Simon Liu. Dr. Steven M. Kappes is the Associate Administrator, National Programs. Mr. Joon Park is currently serving as the Associate Administrator, Research Management and Operations. For more information see Biographical Sketches of our Administrators.  


We take great care in designing and organizing our research effort, and we listen-and respond-to those with a stake in the outcome.  More information can be found in The Research Enterprise and The Big Picture of ARS Research.

Plans and Reports

We follow a strategic plan we develop to meet our stakeholders' needs and support USDA's mission. We check our progress in carrying out that plan, and we modify it as circumstances require. See all of our Plans and Reports

Research, Education and Economics

ARS is one of four agencies in USDA's Research, Education and Economics (REE) mission area. The others are National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Economic Research Service (ERS), and National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).


Since we are an agency of the Research, Education and Economics mission area of USDA, Congress establishes our annual budget on the basis of the President's proposed budget and research priorities. Our budget for fiscal year 2015 is about $1.1 billion.


Our scientists frequently collaborate with research partners from universities, companies, other organizations, and other countries. See more about Partnering and Technology Transfer.