USDA Privacy Policy

Thank you for visiting the U.S. Department of Agriculture Web site and reviewing our privacy statement. Our privacy policy is clear: We will collect no personal information about you when you visit our Web site unless you choose to provide that information to us.

Here is how we handle information about your visit to our Web site:

Information Collected and Stored Automatically

If you do nothing during your visit but browse through the Web site, read pages, or download information, we will gather and store certain information about your visit automatically. This information does not identify you personally. We automatically collect and store only the following information about your visit:

  1. The Internet domain (for example, "xcompany.com" if you use a private Internet access account, or "yourschool.edu" if you connect from a university's domain) and IP address (an IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer whenever you are surfing the Web) from which you access our Web site;
  2. The type of browser and operating system used to access our site;
  3. The date and time you access our site;
  4. The pages you visit; and
  5. If you linked to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Web site from another Web site, the address of that Web site.

We use this information to help us make our site more useful to visitors - to learn about the number of visitors to our site and the types of technology our visitors are using. We do not track or record information about individuals and their visits.

If You Send Us Personal Information

If you choose to provide us with personal information, as in an e-mail to the Secretary or someone else or by filling out a form with your personal information and submitting it to us through our Web site, we use that information to respond to your message and to help us locate for you the information you have requested. We treat e-mails the same way that we regard letters sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We are required to maintain many documents under the Presidential Records Act for historical purposes, but we do not collect personal information for any purpose other than to respond to you. We only share the information you give us with another government agency if your inquiry relates to that agency, or as otherwise required by law. Moreover, we do not create individual profiles with the information you provide or give it to any private organizations. The U.S. Department of Agriculture does not collect information for commercial marketing.

When You Visit USDA Agency/Staff Office Web sites

Please read the USDA Agency/Staff Office Privacy Statement when you visit those Web sites. Where necessary, an Agency/Staff Office may have additional privacy criteria, conditions, or information that you should know.

Links to Other Sites

Our Web site has links to many other federal agencies. In a few cases we link to private organizations, with their permission. Once you access another site through a link that we give you are subject to the privacy policy of the new site.

Web site Security

Information presented on the USDA Web site is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested.

  1. For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this government computer system uses software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage.
  2. Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, no other attempts are made to identify individual users or their usage habits. Raw data logs are used for no other purposes and are scheduled for regular destruction in accordance with National Archives and Records Administration General Schedule 20.
  3. Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act.

Comments or Questions

If you have any comments or questions about the information presented here please forward them to howard.baker@usda.gov.