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12 Pages

Building Digital Collections of Government Information: The Mann Library/USDA Partnership

Agriculture is a silent giant in the American economy. It contributes nearly seven per cent to the gross national product and annually exports $60 billion in agricultural goods to customers abroad. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) collects data about conditions associated with the production, sale, and distribution of raw and processed agricultural products and integrates these data into economic publications that are distributed to interested users in commodities markets, agribusiness, cooperatives, and academic institutions. These vital statistics record the cycles of agricultural businesses and have both immediate and historic value.