General duties of Secretary; advisory functions; research and development
The Secretary of Agriculture shall procure and preserve all information concerning agriculture, rural development, aquaculture, and human nutrition which he can obtain by means of books and correspondence, and by practical and scientific experiments, accurate records of which experiments shall be kept in his office, by the collection of statistics, and by any other appropriate means within his power; he shall collect new and valuable seeds and plants; shall test, by cultivation, the value of such of them as may require such tests; shall propagate such as may be worthy of propagation; and shall distribute them among agriculturists; and he shall advise the President, other members of his Cabinet, and the Congress on policies and programs designed to improve the quality of life for people living in the rural and nonmetropolitan regions of the Nation.
The Secretary is authorized to initiate or expand research and development efforts related to solution of problems of rural water supply, rural sewage and solid waste management, rural housing, rural industrialization, and technology appropriate to small- and moderate-sized family farming operations, and any other problem that the Secretary may determine has an effect upon the economic development or the quality of life in rural areas.
(R.S. § 526; Feb. 9, 1889, ch. 122, §§ 1, 4, 25 Stat. 659; Pub. L. 92–419, title VI, § 603(b), Aug. 30, 1972, 86 Stat. 675; Pub. L. 94–273, § 7(4), Apr. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 378; Pub. L. 95–113, title XV, § 1502(b), Sept. 29, 1977, 91 Stat. 1021; Pub. L. 96–355, § 5, Sept. 24, 1980, 94 Stat. 1174.)