Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners can now do business with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through a new online portal. With the launch of Conservation Client Gateway, producers will have the ability to work with conservation planners online to access Farm Bill programs, request assistance, and track payments for their conservation activities. “What used to require a trip to a USDA service center can now be done from a home computer through
Conservation Client Gateway,” Vilsack said. “USDA is committed to providing effective, efficient assistance to its clients, and Conservation Client Gateway is one way to improve customer service.” Conservation Client Gateway enables farmers, ranchers and private landowners to securely:
• 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.
Conservation Client Gateway is entirely voluntary, giving producers a choice between conducting business online or traveling to a USDA service center. “Our goal is to make it easy and convenient for farmers and ranchers to work with USDA,” Vilsack said. “Customers can log in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to electronically sign documents, apply for conservation programs, access conservation plans, report practice completion, or track the status of conservation payments. Through Conservation Client Gateway, producers have their conservation information at their fingertips and they can save time and gas money by reducing the number of trips to
USDA service centers.” Conservation Client Gateway is available to individual landowners and will soon be extended to business entities, such as Limited Liability Corporations. It is part of the agency’s ongoing Conservation Delivery
Streamlining Initiative, which will feature additional capabilities in the future.