USDA service centers are locations where you can connect face-to-face with Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service employees. In most places, both agencies are co-located in the same service center. Depending on your needs, you will likely work with both the FSA county offices and NRCS field offices during your visit to the service center. In total, USDA employs FSA and NRCS staff members in 2,300 offices nationwide.
Farm Service Agency
FSA administers disaster assistance, safety net, farm loan, and conservation programs and works with you on many USDA records. If you’re new to working with USDA, your FSA team member will help you register your farm by getting you a farm number. Depending on what you raise or grow, you may be encouraged to file acreage reports each season. This is a building block of participation in USDA’s programs and it can help to ensure you’re eligible for many programs and allows you to vote in county FSA elections.
Natural Resources Conservation Service
NRCS administers financial assistance and easement programs, which can help you implement conservation practices on working lands as well as protect lands or restore wetlands through easements. Your NRCS team member will ask about your business and conservation goals for your farm and can help you develop a conservation plan and file an application for the wide range of NRCS conservation programs.
Getting Started with USDA
When you come to the service center, we will begin by helping you:
Establish your farm by registering for a farm number. To obtain one, bring an official tax ID (Social Security number or an employer ID) and a property deed. If you do not own the land, bring a lease agreement to show you have control of the property to your FSA representative. If your operation is incorporated or an entity, you may also need to provide proof that you have signature authority and the legal ability to enter into contracts with USDA.
Meet conservation compliance provisions. You’ll need this to be eligible for USDA programs, including disaster assistance, safety net, farm loan, and conservation programs, as well as crop insurance. This includes filing form AD 1026 to make sure highly erodible lands are not farmed, unless following an NRCS conservation plan, as well as verifying wetland areas are not farmed.
Verify eligibility. To be eligible for most USDA programs, producers must not exceed an adjusted gross income of $900,000. As part of applying for a program, producers file an AD 931C to verify adjusted gross income.
Discuss your business goals. Your local FSA or NRCS team members can better direct you to programs that meet your needs by understanding your vision for your land. For example, are you looking for access to capital, help rebuilding following a natural disaster, or do you want to improve your farm’s soil health to ensure long-term productivity?
Fill out and file your program application. Applications for many FSA and NRCS programs are available on the USDA Service Center Agencies eForms page. If you’re new to USDA, we realize you might be confused by the application process, so don’t be afraid to ask for explanations and help filling them out.
Before You Go
- Make an Appointment. Before visiting your USDA Service Center, we encourage calling to make an appointment. This will help ensure we can assist you quickly, especially at times close to program sign-up and reporting deadlines, as our offices can get quite busy.
- Be Prepared. When scheduling your appointment, ask the FSA or NRCS team member if there are any documents you should bring to help to make the most of your appointment. Examples could include lease agreements, bank account information, inventory or production records, legal paperwork, or personal identification numbers.
- Know Your Payment Options. If you’re looking to make a payment on a USDA loan or to pay an administrative fee, make sure you bring the right types of payments. FSA offices currently accept only cash, check, money orders, wires, debit cards, and ACH.
- Know Self Service Options. You can manage much of your USDA business outside of a Service Center, to either save time when you do visit us or to save a trip. Sign in or create a farmers.gov account to use this feature.
Find Your Local Service Center
We are committed to delivering USDA services to America’s farmers and ranchers while taking safety measures in response to COVID-19. While employees continue to staff our Service Centers, some are only available for phone appointments at this time. You can learn the status of your service center through this tool. Learn more at farmers.gov/coronavirus.
USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Rural Development employees for your business needs. Enter your state and county below to ﬁnd your local service center and agency offices. If this locator does not work in your browser, please visit offices.usda.gov.
Visit the Risk Management Agency website to ﬁnd a regional or compliance office or to ﬁnd an insurance agent near you.