To better help agricultural producers make appointments with USDA offices, file forms, and apply for USDA programs, the agency has unveiled Farmers.gov, an interactive one-stop website.
Farmers.gov is mobile device-friendly and can identify for farmers the most convenient USDA office locations. New functions will be added shortly, including an interactive calendar, farming success stories, an online appointment feature, digital forms, and a business data dashboard. Additionally, when the 2018 Farm Bill is signed into law, there will be plain language program descriptions and a tool to determine eligibility.
“Many farmers are out in their fields using equipment that is connected to satellite and GPS technology, yet when they need to interact with USDA, they have to stop, fill out a paper form, and fax or carry it to their local office. That is a real digital divide,” said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, who was attending a breakfast hosted by the Michigan Farm Bureau. “Our staff is friendly, and they love to see farmers in person, but they know that time is valuable. Producers are working hard to make their farms profitable, so these tools will help get the paperwork done without taking a big chunk out of the day to fill out forms.”
The website gathers together the three agencies that comprise USDA’s Farm Production and Conservation mission area: the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Risk Management Agency.