Ray McCormick is no stranger to conservation. Like his father and grandfather before him, Ray is a steward of the land and sets a high standard of conservation excellence. Last week I had the pleasure of meeting him and discussing his experience with our latest online tool – the Conservation Client Gateway.
During his 30 years of working with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Ray has made many trips to his local field office. However, now that he has a Conservation Client Gateway account, Ray can replace most of those trips with a few clicks of the mouse. He can log in to request conservation assistance, review and sign documents, track payments and much more - all at his convenience.
Managing livestock and thousands of acres of farmland keeps Ray pretty busy. He appreciates not being pulled away from his work on the farm in order to sign a form or review papers. With Conservation Client Gateway, Ray can work with NRCS on his schedule: Gateway is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Ray can also send questions to his district conservationist through Conservation Client Gateway. For example, he can ask a question and attach a geotagged photo; then his district conservationist can pull up a map of Ray’s farm, along with the photo, and provide a detailed answer.
At NRCS, we’re committed to providing producers the best possible experience. Farmers and ranchers will always be welcome in our field offices, but if it is more convenient to work with us online, now they can. It is a matter of providing the assistance that works best for that particular producer, their schedule, their operation and their natural resource goals.
Conservation Client Gateway will help NRCS to be more responsive to producers’ needs. It will reduce the paperwork burden for our field staff, freeing them to focus on conservation instead of paper forms.
Though enrollment in Conservation Client Gateway is voluntary, we hope producers will sign up and give it a try. As always, we welcome feedback and always want to know how we can improve our assistance.
Client Conservation Gateway links: