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News Release

Vermont USDA Offers Secure New Options for Signing and Sharing Documents Online

OneSpan and Box for Vermont

Colchester, October 20, 2020--Farmers and ranchers working with USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) or Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Vermont can now sign and share documents online in just a few clicks. By using OneSpan and/or Box, producers can digitally complete business transactions without leaving their homes or agricultural operations. Both services are free, secure, and available for multiple FSA and NRCS programs.

OneSpan and Box support social distancing measures while providing efficient, user-friendly options for our customers to conduct business with us without needing to interrupt the productivity of their workday,” said Wendy Wilton, FSA State Executive Director for Vermont.

Adds NRCS State Conservationist Vicky Drew, “Given the critical goods and services our farmers and ranchers provide, any time saved or opportunity to streamline is a big win.”

USDA customers in Vermont have already provided positive feedback regarding the ease of OneSpan as an e-signature solution, and producers that want more control over transmitting and viewing signed documents can elect to create a Box account.

“That was so easy! As a person who has had to sign three different USDA contracts in recent weeks, this saved me time and I was able to do it from home,” remarked one USDA customer in Vermont.  

OneSpan is a secure eSignature solution for FSA and NRCS customers. Like Box, no software downloads or eAuthentication is required. Instead, producers interested in eSignature through OneSpan can confirm their identity through two-factor authentication using a verification code sent to their mobile device or a personalized question and answer. Once identity is confirmed, documents can be reviewed and e-signed through OneSpan via the producer’s personal email address. Signed documents immediately become available to the appropriate Service Center staff.

Box is a secure, cloud-based site where FSA or NRCS documents can be managed and shared. Producers who choose to use Box can create a username and password to access their secure Box account, where documents can be downloaded, printed, manually signed, scanned, uploaded, and shared digitally with Service Center staff. This service is available to any FSA or NRCS customer with access to a mobile device or computer with printer connectivity.

Both tools are ptional services for customers interested in improved efficiency in signing and sharing documents with USDA, and they do not replace existing systems using eAuthentication for digital signature. Instead, these tools provide additional digital options for producers to use when conducting business with FSA or NRCS.

USDA Service Center staff are available to help producers get started with both tools through a few simple steps. Visit farmers.gov/service-locator to find your local office and let Service Center staff know you’re interested in signing and sharing documents through these new features. In most cases, one quick phone call will be all that is needed to initiate the process.

Visit farmers.gov/mydocs to learn more about Box and OneSpan, steps for getting started, and additional resources for conducting business with USDA online.

To learn more about program flexibilities and Service Center status during the coronavirus pandemic, visit farmers.gov/coronavirus.