The USDA requires surety bonds for various types of of licenses and regulated activity. PACA bonds, specialty crop surety bonds, and warehouse surety bonds are examples in common use. The USDA regulates the following major programs (published directly from USDA):
Commodity Procurement Program
Supporting American agriculture by encouraging consumption of domestically-produced foods, which are used for both domestic food distribution programs and international food aid programs of the United States.
Cotton & Tobacco Program
Supporting the efficient marketing of U.S. Cotton through classification, standardization and market news in addition to providing inspection, grading and market news information for tobacco.
To facilitate the efficient marketing of milk and dairy products.
Fair Trade Practices Program
The Fair Trade Practices Program is comprised of 4 divisions: the Country of Origin Labeling Division, the Packers and Stockyards Division, the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act Division, and the Warehouse and Commodity Management Division.
Federal Grain Inspection Service
Helping move our Nation's harvest into the marketplace by providing farmers, handlers, processors, exporters, and international buyers with tools that accurately and consistently describe the quality and quantity of the commodities being bought and sold.
Livestock and Poultry Program
Administering a wide range of programs related to the livestock, meat, poultry, egg, fish, and grain industries, as well as food safety testing and support functions that extend to other commodities.
Specialty Crops Program
Facilitating the strategic marketing of fruit, vegetable, nuts and specialty crops in domestic and international markets, while ensuring fair trading practices and promoting a competitive and efficient marketplace.
Generally, each program participant must seek licensing or registration in order to operate within the regulated space. The most popular surety bonds currently in use are:
Recently, the federal government has removed hemp for the DEA's schedule of controlled substances. The USDA is currently in the rule-making process for hemp producers and intermediaries. A surety bond may be required. Certain states have already promulgated rules. For instance, Colorado hemp intermediaries must be licensed as commodity dealers or handlers. Read more about the Colorado requirement here.
Surety bond leader, Surety One, Inc., offers knowledge and experience in bond underwriting within the agricultural space. We offer both surety and fidelity bonds needed by PACA employers, USDA licensed operators and warehouses, livestock trade professionals and hemp intermediaries in every state where they are required. Questions about an USDA surety bond? Call us at (800) 373-2804, email us at Underwriting@SuretyOne.com or click here for live chat.
Surety bond application review and quoting are free of charge. There is no obligation to purchase.