USDA Plans to Modernize and Innovate the Delivery of Agricultural Systems

USDA Press Release No. 0319.10 Contact: Isabel Benemelis (202) 720-7809 Meeting Scheduled to Discuss Ways to Use Technology to Provide Improved Services to Farmers and Ranchers WASHINGTON, June 14, 2010 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the Farm Service Agency (FSA) will hold a public meeting in Washington later this month to kick off its effort to improve customer service through the use of updated technology. The project, known as "Modernize and Innovate the Delivery of Agricultural Systems" (MIDAS) is an effort to update the farm program delivery system and provide better service to farmers and ranchers through Web-based technologies. "The Obama Administration is working to improve farm program effectiveness and better meet the needs of rural producers, and this new technology will be a major step to help achieve that goal," said Vilsack. "This upgrade will arm FSA employees with the tools, information and training they need to make it easier for those eligible for FSA programs to receive prompt, first-rate service." The updated technology will be deployed in FSA county offices, and is expected to transform the way FSA field staff delivers farm programs and benefits to producers served by more than 2,200 offices throughout the United States.

The meeting is designed to provide an understanding of the MIDAS project goals, strategy and approach to USDA senior level management, agency management, contract partners and FSA employees. The kick-off meeting, which is open to the public on the first day, will be in the Jefferson Auditorium in the USDA South Building, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, starting on June 29 at 8:30 a.m., continuing through July 1. Modernizing USDA's business and information technology is part of Vilsack's goal to transform USDA into a premier organization of highly motivated, collaborative and mutually-supportive employees who are committed to creating an inclusive, diverse workplace environment that achieves high standards of performance and exceptional customer service.

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