USDA offers more efficient online tools
In addition to the mobile website, FSA is now offering farmers and ranchers a more efficient and timely option for receiving critical program information. Such things as eligibility requirements, deadlines and related information can be accessed through an electronic news service hosted by GovDelivery.
By signing up for free online communications through GovDelivery, farmers and ranchers can receive news, via e-mail, directly to their home or farm office or to their mobile devices—allowing them to receive immediate notification of farm program news that is pertinent to their agricultural operation. Through GovDelivery, producers can establish subscriber preferences by choosing to receive federal farm program and farm loan information by topic, by state and/or by county. Producers can also select as many subscriber options as they want, which allows producers in multiple counties or across state lines to receive updates from each county in which they opeate or have an interest.
FSA also offers AskFSA and AskFSAmobile, an easy-to-use knowledge database with automated answers to website visitor questions. In 2011, AskFSA received 351,119 visitors—99.7 percent of whom found their answer online without the need for additional assistance.
The Obama Administration, with Agriculture Secretary Vilsack's leadership, has worked tirelessly to strengthen rural America, implement the Farm Bill, maintain a strong farm safety net, and create opportunities for America's farmers and ranchers. U.S. agriculture is currently experiencing one of its best years in decades thanks to the productivity, resiliency, and resourcefulness of our producers. Today, net farm income is at record levels while debt has been cut in half since the 1980s. Overall, American agriculture supports 1 in 12 jobs in the United States and provides American consumers with 86 percent of the food we consume, while maintaining affordability and choice. The Obama Administration has aggressively worked to expand export opportunities and reduce barriers to trade, helping to push agricultural exports to record levels in 2011 and beyond. Strong agricultural exports are a positive contribution to the U.S. trade balance, support nearly 1 million American jobs and boost economic growth.