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Blueprint for Stronger Service

Streamlined Process Helps Farmers Put Conservation on the Ground in Record Time

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), is always looking for ways to do things better -- whether it is how to conserve more soil on a farming operation or how to streamline internal business processes.

Recently, NRCS made vast improvements to its grants and agreements process making it easier, more timely and efficient for partners to work with us on locally-led conservation projects.

#AgInnovates: Modern Solutions for a 21st Century Rural America

In the 151 years since the U.S. Department of Agriculture was founded, America's oldest industry has evolved to meet the changing needs of our modern agricultural landscape. From growing overseas markets, building a 21st century rural infrastructure, and finding ways to address the challenges of climate change, USDA has worked beside farmers, businesses, and community leaders to streamline programs and spur innovative solutions for today's challenges.

Food and Nutrition Service Heeds the Blueprint for Cost Savings

In the three months since Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced USDA’s “Blueprint for Stronger Service,” the Food and Nutrition Service has continued to develop cost-saving and efficient strategies that will save taxpayers money and streamline operations.

The “Blueprint for Stronger Service” was designed to modernize and accelerate service delivery while improving the customer experience through the use of innovative technologies and business solutions. When the plan was announced Jan. 9, it called for USDA to close 259 domestic offices and facilities, as well as consolidating, standardizing or centralizing a number of other products and services.

Identify Citrus Diseases with New iPhone App

Does your citrus tree have spotted leaves or fruit with brown raised spots or small lopsided fruit?  Good news, USDA released a free Save Our Citrus iPhone app that makes it easy to identify and report the four leading citrus diseases: citrus greening, citrus canker, citrus black spot and sweet orange scab.

In just a few steps, the Save Our Citrus app, available in English and Spanish, allows you to report the symptoms, upload a photo and receive an individual response back from citrus experts.

USDA Provides One-Stop Information Shop for Ag Exporters

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is helping U.S. agricultural exporters navigate the complexities of the global trading system with its new trade facilitation desk. The FAS trade facilitation desk is just one example of how FAS is streamlining and improving its services to exporters as part of the USDA-wide Blueprint for Stronger Service initiative. The Blueprint is helping USDA modernize and accelerate service delivery while improving the customer experience through use of innovative technologies and business solutions, like the trade facilitation desk.

With a single phone call or e-mail, exporters can now reach FAS personnel who can provide information on export certification, registration, and documentation requirements. The trade facilitation desk also provides troubleshooting support if an exporter runs into issues with a shipment being detained or refused at its destination.

USDA APHIS Blueprint for Savings

Today’s reality is that Federal budgets are declining and agencies must address the change without sacrificing quality service to the American people.  USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), as part of USDA’s Blueprint for Stronger Service, is committed to making the best use of available resources to provide a high level of service for its customers.  APHIS is in the process of streamlining both our operations and our processes to benefit producers, stakeholders and the American public.

FSA: A Blueprint for a More Modern Farm Service Agency

A blueprint guides the decisions of an entire team of craftspeople toward a common goal of creating something that serves a purpose and withstands time and the elements. Over several decades now, U.S. agriculture has become the second most-productive sector of our economy. Today, net farm income is at record levels while farm debt has been cut in half. Overall, American agriculture supports 1 in 12 jobs in the United States and provides American consumers with 83 percent of the food we consume. In other words, U.S. agriculture is both resilient and a productive economic driver.

While America’s farmers, ranchers and growers are the primary architects of U.S. agriculture’s success, there is large team in place that helps to drive the success of our agriculture industry, and USDA’s Farm Service Agency is a proud member of that team. And FSA’s guide in building a more modern, efficient service organization that is closely in tune with the long-term vitality of rural America is the Blueprint for Stronger Service.

A Blueprint for Savings at the Agricultural Research Service

On January 9, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack put forth USDA’s “Blueprint for Stronger Service” which focuses on streamlining operations and cutting costs throughout the Department.

The “Blueprint for Stronger Service” calls for USDA to close 259 domestic offices, facilities and laboratories, as well as taking business-related actions such as consolidating cell phone plans across the Department, standardizing civil rights training and purchase of cybersecurity products, and centralizing activities related to civil rights, human resources, procurement and property management.

Secretary's Column: A Blueprint for Stronger Service at USDA

Last week, I announced a Blueprint for Stronger Service at USDA.  It is our effort to make sure that in this era of reduced budgets, the folks who live, work and raise their families in rural America don’t see reduced services from the Department.

Over the past three years, USDA has made significant investments in rural America and supported farmers and ranchers.  Today the farm economy is thriving, with record income and exports – and the unemployment figure in rural America has fallen faster than in other parts of the country.

USDA's Unwavering Commitment to Food Safety

Ensuring that Americans have access to safe, nutritious food is USDA’s top priority. Yesterday afternoon, USDA introduced plans to modernize and accelerate service delivery in all areas of the Department by introducing our Blueprint for Stronger Service. The plan will help USDA and rural America preserve and strengthen the significant investments we have all made to American agriculture over the past three years. It takes a realistic view of the needs of American agriculture in a challenging budget climate, and lays out USDA’s plans to strengthen service in all areas, particularly in ensuring the safety of America’s food supply.

The work of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, or FSIS, is critical to the safety of our food supply. As the public health regulatory agency within USDA, FSIS has nearly 10,000 employees scattered throughout the country, working in slaughterhouses, processing facilities, laboratories, or conducting surveillance. Each job is critical to public health. Through their inspection, testing or surveillance duties, FSIS staff make sure America’s meat, poultry and processed egg products are safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled.