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Box and OneSpan: Secure Solutions for Signing and Sharing USDA Documents

Are you interested in conducting business without ever leaving your home or agricultural operation? USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service offer new, secure ways for producers to access, sign, and share documents online with just a few clicks.

Online Resources to Access, Sign, and Share Documents

USDA assists agricultural producers with disaster assistance, conservation, safety net, and farm loan programs and services like conservation planning and acreage reporting. 

Through Box and OneSpan, USDA now offers services that make it easier than ever for producers working with our Farm Service Agency or Natural Resources Conservation Service to conveniently access, sign, and share documents online. These tools do not require any software downloads – you can get started with a simple username and password for Box or, for OneSpan, a quick identity verification. 

By using these tools, you can digitally complete business transactions without ever leaving your home or agricultural operation. Both services are free, secure, and available for multiple FSA and NRCS programs.

Box and OneSpan do not replace existing systems using eAuthentication for digital signature. Instead, they provide additional tools for you to use when conducting business with USDA that do not require eAuthentication.

 

About Box and OneSpan

Box

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 new service is available to any FSA or NRCS customer with access to a mobile device or computer with printer connectivity.

Box does not require software downloads or an eAuthentication account. Producers who have worked with FSA to verify current contact information can get started with a simple email initiated by their local USDA Service Center.

OneSpan

OneSpan is a secure eSignature solution for FSA and NRCS customers. Like Box, no software downloads or eAuthentication is required for OneSpan. Instead, producers interested in eSignature through OneSpan can confirm their identity through two-factor authentication (2FA). For the second factor of authentication, producers can use 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.

 

Steps to Get Started

Box and OneSpan are both optional services for customers interested in improved efficiency in signing and sharing documents with USDA. USDA Service Center staff are here to help you make the transition to Box or OneSpan in just a few simple steps.

Service Center staff will contact you if you have an eligible FSA or NRCS document that needs to be signed, to ask if you’re interested in using Box or OneSpan. You may also reach out directly to apply for programs – such as our new Coronavirus Food Assistance Program – using Box or OneSpan. 

Using these services is not mandatory. If you prefer to deliver signed documents, you may do so using appropriate social distancing measures as implemented by your local USDA Service Center. Producers who prefer standard mail have the alternate option to download, print, sign, and return documents to their local USDA Service Center via U.S. postal mail. 

Producers interested in using Box or OneSpan will need to first verify their current email address and phone number on file with their local USDA Service Center. Then,

  • For Box, USDA Service Center staff will initiate a Box email to your inbox with instructions for creating a username and password. You will be able to use this account to view any document awaiting your action. You can download the document from Box, print the document, manually sign, scan, and upload back to Box to ensure secure document sharing. Box also enables customers to share large files with USDA Service Center staff.
  • For OneSpan, USDA Service Center staff will initiate a OneSpan email to your inbox with instructions for two-factor authentication to verify identity. This can be done either through a verification code sent to your mobile device or a question and answer option. Following identity verification, you will have access to view any documents awaiting your action. OneSpan will enable you to electronically sign documents and will automatically share documents you’ve signed with Service Center staff via your smart phone, tablet, or computer. Customers with multiple documents awaiting action can sign up to 10 documents in one session.

Both Box and OneSpan perform most effectively in Chrome.

 

Additional Resources for Box and OneSpan

Signing Documents with OneSpan Demonstration: This video demonstration provides a walkthrough of how farmers and ranchers can use OneSpan to digitally sign and share USDA documents.

 

Additional Resources for Conducting Business Online

Additional online services are available to producers with an eAuthentication account, which provides access to the farmers.gov portal, FSAfarm+, and Conservation Client Gateway

With eAuthentication access, through the farmers.gov portal, you can:

  • View farm loans information, history, and payments for USDA farm loans;
  • Prepare to enroll in the 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP), and track your application; 
  • Prepare to enroll in the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) which helps agricultural producers affected by natural disasters in 2018 and 2019; and
  • Request assistance, e-sign documents, submit questions, access information on current and past conservation practices, and view detailed information on contracts related to USDA conservation support.

With eAuthentication access, through the FSA websites, you can:

  • Request Loan Deficiency Payments through eLDP;
  • Choose a payment option, assign crop shares, and sign and submit ARC/PLC contracts online, as well as view and print submitted contracts; 
  • View your FSA data on FSAfarm+, including farm records data and maps; and
  • Apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program via the CFAP Application Portal.

With eAuthentication access, through the NRCS Conservation Client Gateway, you can:

  • Track NRCS payments,
  • Report completed practices,
  • Request conservation assistance, and
  • Electronically sign documents.

Customers who do not already have an eAuthentication account can enroll by selecting the “Sign In | Sign Up” option at the top of the page. This provides step-by-step instructions for creating an account.

 

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 and Natural Resources Conservation Service 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.