(a) In carrying out the provisions of this chapter, the Secretary of Agriculture may cooperate with other branches of the Government, State agencies, private research organizations, purchasing and consuming organizations, boards of trade, chambers of commerce, other associations of business or trade organizations, transportation and storage agencies and organizations, or other persons or corporations engaged in the production, transportation, storing, processing, marketing, and distribution of agricultural products whether operating in one or more jurisdictions. The Secretary of Agriculture shall have authority to enter into contracts and agreements under the terms of regulations promulgated by him with States and agencies of States, private firms, institutions, and individuals for the purpose of conducting research and service work, making and compiling reports and surveys, and carrying out other functions relating thereto when in his judgment the services or functions to be performed will be carried out more effectively, more rapidly, or at less cost than if performed by the Department of Agriculture. Contracts under this section may be made for work to be performed within a period not more than four years from the date of any such contract, and advance, progress, or other payments may be made. The provisions of section 3324(a) and (b) of title 31 and section 6101 of title 41 shall not be applicable to contracts or agreements made under the authority of this section. Any unexpended balances of appropriations obligated by contracts as authorized by this section may, notwithstanding the provisions of section 5 of the Act of June 20, 1874, as amended (31 U.S.C., sec. 713), remain upon the books of the Treasury for not more than five fiscal years before being carried to the surplus fund and covered into the Treasury. Any contract made pursuant to this section shall contain requirements making the result of such research and investigations available to the public by such means as the Secretary of Agriculture shall determine.
(b) The Secretary of Agriculture shall promulgate such orders, rules, and regulations as he deems necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
(Aug. 14, 1946, ch. 966, title II, §205, 60 Stat. 1090; Aug. 30, 1954, ch. 1076, §1(7), 68 Stat. 966.)
Section 5 of the Act of June 20, 1874, as amended (31 U.S.C. sec. 713), referred to in subsec. (a), was repealed by act July 6, 1949, ch. 299, §3, 63 Stat. 407.
In subsec. (a), "section 3324(a) and (b) of title 31" substituted for reference to section 3648 (31 U.S.C., sec. 529) of the Revised Statutes on authority of Pub. L. 97–258, §4(b), Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 1067, the first section of which enacted Title 31, Money and Finance.
In subsec. (a), "section 6101 of title 41" substituted for "section 3709 (41 U.S.C., sec. 5) of the Revised Statutes" on authority of Pub. L. 111–350, §6(c), Jan. 4, 2011, 124 Stat. 3854, which Act enacted Title 41, Public Contracts.
1954—Subsec. (b). Act Aug. 30, 1954, repealed second sentence requiring Secretary of Agriculture to include in his annual report to Congress a complete statement of research work being performed under contracts or cooperative agreements under this chapter.
Pub. L. 97–253, title I, §191, Sept. 8, 1982, 96 Stat. 787, provided that:
"(a) The Congress finds that—
"(1) for an increasing number of people in the United States, these are times of great suffering and deprivation;
"(2) rising unemployment, decreasing appropriations for social services, and increasingly adverse economic conditions have all contributed to produce hunger and want on a scale not experienced since the time of the Great Depression;
"(3) the demand for every conceivable form of assistance for the hungry and needy people of the United States grows more critical daily, while the availability of goods and services to meet the needs of such people is rapidly diminishing;
"(4) soup kitchens, food banks, and other organizations which provide food to the hungry report an astronomical increase in the number of persons seeking the assistance of such organizations;
"(5) according to a study completed by the General Accounting Office [now Government Accountability Office] in 1977, one hundred and thirty-seven million tons of food, or more than 20 per centum of this country's total annual food production, is wasted or discarded in the United States each year;
"(6) at wholesale and retail food distributors, shipping terminals, and other establishments all across the country, enormous quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables and dated dairy and bakery products are discarded each day, while growing numbers of Americans go to bed hungry and undernourished each night;
"(7) in these times of budget constraints and appeals for reductions in Federal spending, the use of private resources to meet the basic food requirements of our citizens should be encouraged; and
"(8) many States and local governments have not enacted laws which limit the liability of food donors, such as so-called Good Samaritan Acts and donor liability laws, and thus have discouraged donation of food to the needy by private persons.
"(b) It is the sense of the Congress that—
"(1) departments and agencies of the Federal Government should take such steps as may be necessary to distribute to hungry people of the United States surplus food or food which would otherwise be discarded;
"(2) State and local governments which have not yet enacted so-called Good Samaritan or donor liability laws to encourage private cooperative efforts to provide food for hungry people within their respective jurisdictions should do so as quickly as possible; and
"(3) wholesale and retail food distributors, shipping terminals, and other establishments should work more closely with religious, community, and other charitable organizations to make wholesome food which is currently being wasted or discarded by such establishments available for immediate distribution to hungry people of the United States."