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e-CFR data is current as of January 26, 2021

Title 7Subtitle BChapter XXXVII → Part 3700

Title 7: Agriculture


§3700.1   General.
§3700.2   Organization.
§3700.3   Functions.
§3700.4   Authority to act for the Administrator.

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301 and 552, and 7 CFR 2.67.

Source: 61 FR 1827, Jan. 24, 1996, unless otherwise noted.

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§3700.1   General.

The Economic Research Service (ERS), originally established in 1961 under the authority of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1621-1627), was reestablished as an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture of September 30, 1981 (46 FR 47747), in response to Secretary's Memorandum 1000-1 of June 17, 1981, entitled “Reorganization of Department.” The mission of ERS is to provide economic and other social science information and analysis for public and private decisions on agriculture, food, natural resources, and rural America. Its primary customers are USDA policy officials and program administrators, the Office of the While House, Congress, and environmental, consumer, and rural public interest groups, including farm groups and industry.

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§3700.2   Organization.

ERS maintains its offices at 1301 New York Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20005-4788. The organization consists of:

(a) The Administrator;

(b) Associate Administrator;

(c) Five Divisions; Commercial Agriculture Division, Food and Consumer Economics Division, Information Services Division, Natural Resources and Environment Division, and Rural Economy Division; and

(d) Office of Energy and New Uses.

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§3700.3   Functions.

(a) Administrator and Associate Administrator. The Administrator and Associate Administrator are responsible for developing and implementing policies and plans in support of a program of economic and social science research, analysis, and data dissemination. General functions are: Conducting research and staff analysis, and developing short to long-term outlook analysis and economic indicators.

(b) Director, Commercial Agriculture Division. The Director, Commercial Agriculture Division, is responsible for conducting a program of economic research; economic intelligence gathering, analysis, and reporting; and data development and dissemination on economic conditions, U.S. and foreign policies, and agriculture production, trade, and marketing. General functions are:

(1) Developing and monitoring current intelligence and indicators on domestic and international agricultural markets and related farm and trade developments and short to long-term forecasts of domestic and world agricultural markets.

(2) Assessing the technological, economic, and institutional forces influencing U.S. and world agricultural markets.

(3) Conducting special analyses of U.S. and world agricultural markets for policy officials to assist in policy development and the operation of USDA programs.

(4) Collecting necessary information and performing international, national, and regional macroeconomics analysis to estimate the effects of macro economic trends and events in the global economy on the American farm sector.

(c) Director, Food and Consumer Economic Division. The Director, Food and Consumer Economic Division, is responsible for providing economic research, monitoring and statistical indicators, and staff and the policy analysis of consumer and food marketing issues, including: Consumption determinants and trends; consumer demand for food quality, safety, and nutrition; food security; market competition; vertical coordination; nutrition education and food assistance programs; and food safety regulation. General functions are:

(1) Analyzing consumer behavior and food choices, including research regarding the socio-demographic and economic determinants of food and nutrient consumption; consumer valuation of quality, safety, and nutrition characteristics; and the role of information in determining food choices.

(2) Examining food assistance and nutrition programs, nutritional adequacy of diets, and food security, including costs and benefits of food assistance and nutrition programs, program and policy alternatives, the extent and social cost of good insecurity, and the role of food assistance in meeting larger goals of welfare programs.

(3) Analyzing the food processing and distribution sector, including the ability of the sector to meet changing consumer demand; the effect of government market interventions to facilitate that response; and the effect of government interventions and rapid changes in the sector on consumer and producer welfare.

(4) Analyzing food safety issues, including consumer benefits from risk reduction, production tradeoffs in reducing hazards, impact of proposed regulations and international harmonization, and policy alternatives.

(5) Developing and monitoring indicators of individual, household, and market level food consumption, expenditures, and nutrients; food marketing costs, marketing margins, and farm-retail price spreads; and food safety hazards, their effects, and mitigation.

(d) Director, Information Services Division. The Director, Information Services Division, is responsible for managing and directing agencywide information technology, communications, and administrative activities in support of the economic research and analysis mission of ERS. General functions are:

(1) Developing and managing information technology infrastructure and training.

(2) Developing and managing communications, publication, and dissemination programs, policies, and procedures.

(3) Providing operations and management services, including liaison with the ARS's Administrative and Financial Management unit.

(e) Director, Natural Resources and Environment Division. The Director, Natural Resources and Environment Division, is responsible for providing economic research, monitoring and statistical indicators, and staff and policy analysis of agricultural resource and environment issues including the relationship between agriculture—its practices, technologies, policies, and resource use—and the environment, including effects on the sustainability of the natural resource base, preservation of species and genetic diversity, and environmental quality. General functions are:

(1) Developing and disseminating data for assessing the use of agricultural resources and technologies by agricultural producers. These data include use and ownership of land, use of agricultural chemicals and equipment, and water use.

(2) Evaluating the implications of alternative agricultural and resource conservation policies and programs on commodity prices, consumer welfare, competitiveness, and long-range maintenance of agricultural land and water resources.

(3) Analyzing the costs, benefits, and distributional impacts of alternative policies to reduce environmental and health risk externalities associated with agriculture.

(4) Monitoring and analyzing the uses and conditions of the nation's water resources and the economic consequences of agricultural and environmental policies affecting water supply, use, and quality.

(5) Analyzing the impacts of national and global developments and domestic and international policies on the use and value of land, water, capital assets, and other agricultural production decisions.

(6) Assessing the possible impacts of proposed or anticipated domestic policy and program changes on agricultural production decisions.

(7) Assessing the effects of technology on input use and markets and evaluating the factors affecting input productivity and technology adoption.

(8) Analyzing the implications of global environmental change and sustainable development for U.S. agriculture.

(f) Director, Rural Economy Division. The Director, Rural Economy Division, is responsible for conducting a program of economic and social science research and analysis on national rural and agricultural conditions and trends, and identifying and assessing the potential impact of public and private sector actions and policies that affect rural areas and the agricultural sector. General functions are:

(1) Analyzing and reporting on current economic and demographic issues facing rural areas and agricultural, especially how changes in the national and global economies affect rural areas and the agriculture sector.

(2) Determining the effects of economic, social, and governmental events and actions on the demand for and supply of rural local government services, the quality of such services, and the relationships between local services and the viability of rural communities.

(3) Developing and disseminating information on current trends in the non-metropolitan and farm populations, the number, location and characteristics of such people, and the factors associated with these trends.

(4) Developing estimates and analyzing labor force trends in rural labor markets, including analyses of unemployment and employment by industry and occupational groups, including farm labor.

(5) Developing data on the income situation of rural people and evaluating the effectiveness of alternative public policies and programs in improving incomes of rural people, especially people in disadvantaged groups.

(6) Monitoring information on and analyzing the development of rural portions of geographic regions of the United States, including changes in industry mix, impacts of energy costs, credit availability, and other economic activities.

(7) Analyzing and reporting on developments in rural and agricultural financial markets and in Federal tax laws, and their consequences for agriculture and rural economies.

(8) Collecting and disseminating financial information on farms and farm enterprises, and developing techniques necessary to measure and describe the financial condition of the agriculture sector and its components.

[61 FR 1827, Jan. 24, 1996, as amended at 64 FR 40736, July 28, 1999]

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§3700.4   Authority to act for the Administrator.

In the absence of the Administrator, the following officials are designated to serve as Acting Administrator in the order indicated:

Associate Administrator

Director, Commercial Agriculture Division

Director, Food and Consumer Economics Division

Director, Natural Resources and Environment Division

Director, Rural Economy Division

Director, Information Services Division

Director, Office of Energy and New Uses

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