Agriculture launches electronic customer statement

The Agriculture Department has launched its electronic Customer Statement as part of an initiative to provide more e-government services for farmers and ranchers.

'The Customer Statement will put a whole range of USDA services and programs into a single report at the fingertips of agricultural producers," USDA Secretary Ann Veneman said yesterday. It enables USDA customers to view participation and application status in various conservation programs; payments associated with commodity and conservation programs; information on farm loans; and conservation plan and land unit information.

The Customer Statement will be key to providing agricultural producers access to their USDA information and facilitating online business with USDA. In the future, farmers and ranchers will be able to cross-reference that data with interactive maps of their operations using geographic information systems with overlays for roads, soil types, water and other geographic features.

To ensure personal identity, users must first register online for a USDA eAuthentication Level 2 Account and complete the authentication process at a local USDA Service Center.

In January, the department unveiled a new design of its Web site, with more features to be added beyond the Customer Statement. (Click for Jan. 13 GCN story) In August, Agriculture will launch the customized version of the department's homepage, MyUSDA.gov.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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