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Farm News Editorial

By Staff | Jun 5, 2015

Late last month the U.S. Department of Agriculture added an online enhancement to its services that promises to make life easier for farmers and ranchers. They can now seek conservation assistance and handle related matters online via a new portal – Conservation Client Gateway – that was launched May 27.

“What used to require a trip to a USDA service center can now be done from a home computer through Conservation Client Gateway,” Tom Vilsack, U.S. secretary of agriculture, said in a statement announcing this new option. “USDA is committed to providing effective, efficient assistance to its clients, and Conservation Client Gateway is one way to improve customer service.”

According to the USDA, farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners can now interact with department personnel online regarding assorted conservation matters. The USDA announcement of the new Web portal lists following actions as possible using this site:

  • Request NRCS technical and financial assistance;
  • Review and sign conservation plans and practice schedules;
  • Complete and sign an application for a conservation program;
  • Review, sign and submit contracts and appendices for conservation programs;
  • Document completed practices and request certification of completed practices;
  • Request and track payments for conservation programs and
  • Store and retrieve technical and financial files, including documents and photographs.

Vilsack stressed that the department’s goal in creating this new option is to make communication and interaction with the USDA more convenient. Information about the portal is available at www.nrcs.usda.gov/clientgateway.

Farm News applauds this new venture by the USDA. All too often federal bureaucrats make life more complicated and difficult for the public. This new USDA service reflects a commitment to customer service that deserves praise and support.

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