NAD conducts independent hearings and reviews on appeals by private parties arising from adverse program activities or decisions of certain statutorily-specified agencies within USDA, as well as such other administrative appeals arising from decisions of other USDA agencies as designated by the Secretary. NAD appeals involve program decisions of the following USDA agencies: Farm Service Agency; Risk Management Agency; Natural Resources Conservation Service; Rural Business-Cooperative Development Service; Rural Housing Service; and the Rural Utilities Service. NAD rules of practice are set forth at 7 CFR Part 11, Subpart A.

Comments/Notes on Adjudication Structure: 
NAD was established by the Secretary of Agriculture on October 20, 1994 by Secretary's Memorandum 1010-1, pursuant to the Federal Crop Insurance Reform and Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (P. L. 103-354, section 271 et seq. (October 13, 1994). The Act consolidated the appellate functions and staffs of several USDA Agencies to provide for independent hearings and reviews of adverse Agency decisions. NAD is headquartered in the Washington, DC area, and has three regional offices (i.e., Indiana, Tennessee, and Colorado).
Types of Adjudication: 
Type A
Comments/Notes on Adjudication Type(s): 
While USDA/NAD had for years asserted that its hearings were not subject to the APA, and by extension, EAJA-based fee awards, several circuits by 2008 had held that section 554 (and EAJA) applied to NAD hearings. See, e.g., Five Points Road Joint Venture v. Johanns, 542 F.3d 1121 (7th Cir. 2008); Aageson Grain & Cattle v. USDA, 500 F.3d 1038 (9th Cir. 2007). Consequently, in 2009, USDA revised its NAD rules to expressly make section 554 applicable to NAD hearings. See 7 CFR 11.4. However, NAD hearings have never been conducted by ALJs; rather, NAD uses "Hearing Officers" as hearing-level adjudicators.
Resources & Articles: 
The National Appeals Division Guide (Oct. 2008):
Five Points Road Joint Venture v. Johanns, 542 F.3d 1121 (7th Cir. 2008)
Aageson Grain & Cattle v. USDA, 500 F.3d 1038 (9th Cir. 2007)
Lane v. USDA, 120 F.3d 106 (8th Cir. 1997)
Deaf Smith County Grain Processors, Inc. v. Glickman, 162 F.3d 1206 (D.C. Circuit 1998)
Verified by Agency: 
Is this a Major Adjudication: