February 28, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C.-- U.S. Representative Austin Scott (GA-08) co-led a letter with Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04) to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack urging immediate action to improve outdated and inefficient Farm Service Agency (FSA) program operations.
“America's farmers and ranchers should be free to focus on their farms and shouldn't have to gather unnecessary information to apply for farm programs,” Scott said. “The USDA should streamline and simplify FSA program applications so producers can get back to supporting our nation's food and fiber supply."
Included in the letter are recommendations on how the USDA can improve the FSA program, including:
- Ensuring all forms match actual farm program requirements;
- Ensuring all forms are made available for online submission;
- Investing in FSA in-person staff training to improve the consistency of program implementation across different county offices; and
- Fully implementing Section 1614 of the 2014 Farm Bill to reduce burdens on producers by streamlining the communication between FSA and the Risk Management Agency and allowing for reporting of electronic data to FSA.
Rep. Scott is the Vice Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities, Risk Management, and Credit.
The full text of the letter can be found here.