Agribusiness has infiltrated the USDA with its own people so their agendas are the agendas of the USDA. This can be seen when looking at the biographies of the top officials of the Department, up to and including Secretary Ann Veneman.
Ann Veneman has spent time as a public official, but has also served on the board of Calgene, which was later taken over by infamous Monsanto. This company specializes in biotech aspects of agriculture, namely GMOs. Most of Ann Veneman's key partners, aids, and co-heads of other various USDA agencies are political appointees who have all spent many years of their entire career working for corporate agribusinesses and huge trade associations.
An example of another infiltration is Veneman's chief of staff, Dale Moore. Dale was an executive director for legislative affairs of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA). This is a trade association that is supported heavily by, and aligned with specific interests of the big, corporate meatpacking companies such as Tyson and Cargill.
Furthermore, Deputy Secretary James Moseley was a co-owner of a large factory farm in Indiana. Floyd Gaibler, a Deputy Under Secretary, was an executive director of the dairy industry’s National Cheese Institute (NCI). Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations, Mary Waters, was a senior director and legislative counsel for ConAgra Foods, which is one of America's largest corporate food processors.
Other higher up officials such as Neil Hoffman, the Director of Biotechnology Regulatory Services of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, previously worked for Paradigm Genetics, a leading biotech firm. USDA's General Counsel, Nancy Bryson, previously was a partner in the law firm Cromwell and Moring, and in that time she co-chaired the law firm's corporate biotechnology practice.
These industry-linked appointees have aided in the implementation of policies that undermine the regulatory mission of the USDA and turn it in favor of the interests of a few economically powerful companies. This creates a huge gap of interest between corporate and family farms, and regulations and policies favor corporate farms, making it hardly possible for the family farm to survive and thrive anymore due to this corruption. This is why America cannot - for now - shadow Europe's family farm agricultural model due to having officials who are anti-family farming. To raise awareness we need to begin with voting new officials into office, or rallying against corporate and USDA leaders who seek to corporatize farming.