The U.S. Department of Agriculture is touting a new online service that should save farmers valuable time. The U.S.D.A.’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has unveiled its new Conservation Client Gateway, an internet tool that allows interaction with NRCS without leaving the home or office.
Tim Palmer, a farmer from Truro, Iowa, has been using the system from home rather than driving to an NRCS field office. “I can send in a request for assistance and take a picture of it, figure out where I am with the GPS, so they can locate exactly where it’s at,” Palmer says. Ramon Ortiz, with NRCS, says the online service benefits both farmers and the federal agency.
“They can request technical assistance, also financial assistance. Now we can spend more time working with other producers and we’re not attached to staying at the field office,” Ortiz says. There’s also an e-signature feature so farmers won’t have to make a special trip just to sign a form.
However, U.S.D.A. NRCS Chief Jason Weller says the agency will still provide personal service. “We’ll still provide that one on one personal assistance where we’ll be able to come out to your operation, your farm or ranch, and provide that conservation planning, that conservation delivery, that you expect from us,” Weller says.