Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
By Nancy Allen
Keeping pace with technology
Farmers can sign up for GovDelivery electronic news service to get USDA, information
  Important USDA information and updates are now available to farmers via email, smartphones and text messaging.
Farmers in Mercer and Auglaize counties can sign up immediately at Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices in Celina and Wapakoneta for the free GovDelivery electronic news service.
"It will give our customers the ability to review information electronically 24/7," said Chris Gibbs, executive director of the Mercer County Farm Service Agency office in Celina.
Gibbs and Anita Green, FSA executive director for Auglaize County, were among USDA officials on a state task force to launch the new system.
Farmers can visit their FSA office to register or go online at www.fsa.usda.gov/subscribe and follow the online options. Customers will be asked to provide email address and cell phone numbers.
Participants can set up subscriber preferences by choosing to receive farm program information by topic, state and/or county, as well as national USDA information. Farmers may select an unlimited number of subscriber options to allow for updates from multiple counties or from across state lines.
FSA office employees will tell farmers coming into the office to certify crop acres about the online program, Green said.
"It's kind of an outreach plan of action to make our customers aware of the potential we have to provide them with information," Green said.
Green noted anyone can sign up for the GovDelivery service to receive USDA information, not just farmers.
"Bankers, crop insurance agents, implement dealers and machinery sales, livestock suppliers and growers," she said. "Really anybody who could use the information."
People who do not wish to use the GovDelivery system will still receive some information in the mail, Gibbs and Green said, but it will be severely restricted. FSA also will rely on free local radio and newspaper media to get information out now, he added.
The new system fits in with recent USDA cuts aimed at reducing mailing costs.
"GovDelivery was developed so USDA could match how more and more of our customers are doing business," Gibbs said. "The cost savings are a secondary benefit."
This year will be very important for farmers to receive information because a new farm bill will likely be passed, Green said.
"There will be new programs to announce, maybe information whether we are extending existing programs until new legislation passes and other information," she added.
For information, contact the Mercer County FSA office at 419-586-3149 or the Auglaize County FSA office at 419-738-4016.
Additional online stories for this date
Print edition only stories for this date
• Target shoot nearly costs woman hand
• Public can invest in local fertilizer plant
• Water tank in need of repair
• Members discuss wind energy
• Lake Campus students to organize dog park
• Lima man arrested for suspicion of home burglary
• Celina inching closer to a WBL championship
• King will join fellow Panthers at UNOH
• Will retiring from post in Mercer County
• Feeling blessed on this holiday
a_d
Thursday Night
68°
Thunderstorms Likely
100%
Friday
87°
Chance Thunderstorms
54%
Friday Night
70°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
17%
Saturday
88°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
22%
Saturday Night
67°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
19%
Sunday
88°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
20%
Sunday Night
71°
Partly Cloudy
14%
Monday
88°
Partly Sunny
14%
Monday Night
70°
Partly Cloudy
14%
Tuesday
87°
Chance Thunderstorms
26%
Tuesday Night
68°
Chance Thunderstorms
25%
3 Day
Extended
a_da_d
camera_logo Photo Albums
Saturday, August 16
index pict
video_logoOnline Video
Sunday, July 27
index pict
2014 Celina Lake Festival