USDA food assistance program has digital options

Vincent Marshall
vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com

Expanding the options available to producers the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency will accept Coronavirus Food Assistance Program applications through an online portal.

According to the FSA, CFAP is a program that assists offset price declines and additional marketing costs because of the coronavirus pandemic.

To work with local service center staff to complete their applications from home, FSA will have commercial document storage and e-signature solutions to enable producers.

“We are doing everything we can to serve our customers and make sure agricultural producers impacted by the pandemic can quickly and securely apply for this relief program,” FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce said in a news release. “In addition to working with FSA staff through the phone, email and scheduled in-person appointments, we can now also take applications through the farmers.gov portal, which saves producers and our staff time.”

Producers with secure USDA login credentials can certify eligible commodities online through the portal and be able to digitally sign applications and submit directly to the local USDA Service Center.

At this time, the digital application is only available to single-member business entities or sole proprietors.

Other options to submit a CFAP application include:

• Downloading the AD-3114 application form from farmers.gov/cfap and manually completing the form to submit to the local USDA Service Center by mail, electronically or by hand delivery to an office drop box.

In some limited cases, the office may be open for in-person business by appointment. Visit farmers.gov/coronavirus/service-center-status to check the status of your local office.

• Completing the application form using our CFAP Application Generator and Payment Calculator found at farmers.gov/cfap. This Excel workbook allows customers to input information specific to their operation to determine estimated payments and populate the application form, which can be printed, and then signed and submitted to their local USDA Service Center.

For new customers, one-on-one support is available by calling 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee. For existing FSA customers, documents are likely already on file.

Producers who do not have an eAuthentication account can learn more and begin the enrollment process at farmers.gov/sign-in.

For more information on CFAP, visit farmers.gov/cfap or call 877-508-8364.

To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com