USDA “Receipt for Service” Required
As a result of the 2014 Farm Bill, the Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Rural Development (RD) are required to provide farmers with a receipt for service. Beginning in 2008, the farmer could get a receipt if he or she asked for it. Now the receipt must be provided whether the farmer asks for it or not.
The 2014 Farm Bill says that the receipt must include several things. First, it must include the date and place of the farmer’s request to FSA. Second, the receipt must include the “subject of the request” made by the farmer. For example, if the farmer asked for an Operating Loan, the receipt must explain that the farmer requested an Operating Loan. Third, the receipt must explain how FSA responded to the farmer’s request for a benefit or service. The statute says that FSA must explain in the receipt the “action taken” or “not taken” by FSA, or the “recommendation” that was made to the farmer.
It does not appear that FSA has changed its internal handbook to reflect the 2014 changes. As a result, the on-line version of the receipt for service form to be used by USDA still says the receipt is available “if requested.” In fact, a receipt for service for all producers – whether they ask for it or not – is now required by law.