USDA has taken bold action to expand equitable access to our programs and services to improve customer experience (CX) for America’s farmers, ranchers and forest managers since President Joe Biden signed the Executive Order Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government in December 2021.
Through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), we’ve designed and implemented a simplified process for direct loans. This included a new Loan Assistance Tool that provides customers with an interactive online guide to identify the direct loan products that may fit their business needs, as well as a new Online Loan Application to submit and build documentation to apply for loans.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) launched efforts to improve the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) in an effort to improve the experience for agricultural producers and conservation partners. This includes the RCPP Improvement Effort, which set priorities based on partners and staff feedback including improving the RCPP portal for partner use, simplifying agreements, and streamlining the reimbursement process.
NRCS also introduced Act Now, which enables faster delivery of conservation practices. Act Now allows NRCS to immediately approve and obligate funds for qualifying conservation program applications. It was pivotal in the quick delivery of Inflation Reduction Act funds.
Additionally, USDA’s Farm Production and Conservation Business Center deployed a first-of-its-kind nationwide prospective customer survey targeted at farmers, ranchers and forest managers who are not yet USDA customers, with the goal of better understanding their unique needs, and ultimately improving USDA service offerings to make government agricultural programs more accessible, equitable, and easier to use.
The USDA Blog will continue to feature our CX accomplishments and efforts in the coming weeks. If you missed it, please view our second post: Two-Year Anniversary of Customer Experience Executive Order - Pt. 2: Establishing USDA’s CX Framework | USDA.
Updates will also be posted on the Office of Customer Experience (OCX) website and reported publicly on Performance.gov. To follow CX stories and posts across agencies, follow #govdelivers on social media.