Farmers, ranchers and private landowners can now do business with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service through the Conservation Client Gateway, an online portal.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack made the announcement Wednesday, noting that the service will give producers 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.
Capabilities of the USDA NRCS online Conservation Client Gateway portal include:
• 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.
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Through Conservation Client Gateway, Vilsack said 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.