This press release came from the office of Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s office this week.
“Agricultural producers have new resources available to them to prepare for and recover from impacts of natural disasters on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new website, farmers.gov. The site has updated tools and information to help agricultural producers identify the right programs and make decisions for their operations,” the release said.
It continued with a quote from Secretary Perdue, who said, “Agriculture is a risky business. At USDA, we’re here to help you prepare, recover, and build long-term resilience to natural disasters. Whether you want to visit your local USDA service center or visit our new farmers.gov, we want to help you get the help you need.”
The release said that there are new additions to the site that are “being built for farmers, by farmers.” They include a farmers.gov portal for “secure business transactions and a disaster assistance discovery tool.” Producers are walked through five questions to “help them identify personalized results of what USDA disaster assistance programs meet their needs. The farmers.gov portal is the first edition of a secure dashboard for producers to manage program applications and other USDA documents.”
These resources are in addition to other currently available through Farmers.gov, including a mobile-friendly Service center locator, connecting users with USDA assistance at the location nearest them as well as information about the new 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program, which provides disaster payments to producers to offset losses from hurricanes and wildfires during 2017. There is also a routinely updated farmers.gov blog where producers “can read stories about other farmers across the nation containing insight into how other producers address challenges in running successful agricultural operations,” and there is a “soil health webpage, where producers can read about the soil health management practices offered by USDA.”
The Secretary said, “USDA’s vision for farmers.gov is to provide farmers, ranchers and foresters with online self-service applications, educational materials, engagement opportunities and business tools,” Perdue said. “Our goal is to provide you, America’s farmers, with the best customer service, and this website is one of many ways we’re working to do so.”
USDA’s Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Risk Management Agency are collaborating with partners in the government and private sector to build farmers.gov. Work began in fall 2017, and the site launched in 2018.