Champaign, IL, September 8, 2020 -- It’s more important than ever to have a quick, secure way to get important business done with your local USDA team. That’s why the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has partnered with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to deliver Box and OneSpan, new tools to help farmers get important documents signed and shared with USDA service center staff. These are often the quickest, simplest options for both USDA employees and customers. Why? “Because you don’t have to create or sign into a secondary account and you can electronically sign papers and forms using your computer or your smart phone. Basically, you can do what you need to with just a few clicks,” explains NRCS State Conservationist Ivan Dozier. The tools can save time and offer convenience to Illinois farmers.
By using Box or OneSpan, producers can digitally complete most business transactions with USDA without ever leaving their homes or agricultural operations. Dozier and Graff both noted that Box and OneSpan do not replace existing systems that use e-Authentication for digital signature. Instead, they provide additional efficient, customer-friendly resources for conducting business with USDA.
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. OneSpan is a secure eSignature solution. Like Box, no software downloads or eAuthentication are required. Producers interested in eSignature through OneSpan can quickly confirm their identity through two-factor authentication, which includes a text message with 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 and, once signed, immediately become available to the appropriate Service Center staff. These new tools are available to any USDA customer with access to a mobile device or computer with printer connectivity.
“Another thing to note is that when you use OneSpan, the email you receive will come from “OneSpan Sign,” not from any USDA email address or staff member,” Graff explain. So, look for that and just in case, be sure to check your spam or ‘junk’ mail folder. “And always keep in communication with your USDA Service Center,” Graff added.
Neither of these options are mandatory—farmers who prefer to hand deliver signed documents or mail them in or just drop them off—can still get their USDA business taken care of that way as well. “It’s just another option USDA is offering Illinois farmers to be safe and save time,” stated Dozier and Graff.
Both Box and OneSpan perform most effectively in Chrome. Visit farmers.gov/mydocs for current information or for help getting started with these secure solutions for signing and sharing USDA documents.
Helping People Help the Land. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.