FSA National Office Work Details Available

The National Office has two, that’s right TWO work details open to FSA employees.  The first detail is to assist with DAFP and closes on April 7, 2021.  The second detail is to assist with the Conservation Division and closes on April 9, 2021.  NASCOE realizes the abundance of talent FSA employees have across the country and wants to make sure everyone has the opportunity to apply.  If you or a co-worker are interested in applying, this is a great way to be a part of our agency at a national level.


Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs (DAFP) Detail

Duties:
Seeking current FSA CO or GS employee with strong FSA program knowledge and experience to assist the Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs (DAFP) with new and existing program implementation and policy.  (Two positions available).

Timeframe:
8-week detail starting in mid-April 2021.

Location:
Remote, with potential for travel to Washington DC (travel is optional).

Response Date:
COB April 7, 2021 (include brief overview about yourself and your work experience at FSA).

Contacts: Please send requested information/responses and/or questions to: and

Summary:  Selected individuals will work from their current location and can split their time between their current duties and this temporary assignment.  They may be able to work in Washington DC for a two-week period, but travel is not required.  They will assist DAFP to implement existing and new programs.  Applicants must obtain approval/written concurrence from their supervisor(s), before applying.  Applicants should respond by COB April 7th 2021 and include a few bullets about themselves.  Include information about FSA work experience.  It is anticipated the assignment will start in mid-April and last 8 weeks.  Both CO and GS employees are encouraged to apply.


Conservation Division Detail

Duties: The FSA Conservation Division is seeking up to 3 individuals to serve as Agricultural Program Specialists to assist the Program Managers of the Conservation Division.  Tasks may include, but are not limited to:

  • Reviewing and editing FSA State Office amendments to Handbook 2-CRP regarding specific CREP Agreements.
  • Reviewing and editing FSA State Office amendments to Handbook 2-CRP regarding specific SAFE projects.
  • Reviewing and recommending edits to Handbooks (2-CRP, 1-ECP, and 1-EFRP).
  • Develop a method to identify and track approved management activities.
  • Assist in developing a new CRP emergency haying and grazing tracking system.
  • Assist in automating the CRP haying and grazing provision in CCMS.
  • Assist in responding to requests from FSA State Offices.
  • Assist in the development of briefing materials, notices, and training materials.

Qualifications:

  • GS-9 or higher.
  • Working knowledge of the FSA Conservation Programs.
  • Experience writing clear, informative documents.
  • Ability to communicate and work collaboratively.
  • Open to all FPAC employees.

Timeframe:
Detail assignment will be for up to 120-days, beginning on or about April 12, 2021.

Location:
Duties will be completed mainly from the employee’s current duty station with potential for 1-3 weeks in Washington, D.C. National Headquarters or Kansas City, as needed.  Travel duration and timing will be determined with the individuals upon selection.

Response Date:
Apply to this detail by close of business April 9, 2021, by submitting your resume including specific relevant experience (not more than 2 pages), and a short cover letter stating your interest in this detail.

Contact:
Please send requested information and/or questions to: Dana Ashford-Kornburger at

Summary:

Apply to this detail by close of business April 9, 2021, by submitting your resume including specific relevant experience (not more than 2 pages), and a short cover letter stating your interest in this detail.  Written approval from your immediate supervisor and/or concurrence from the State Executive Director/State Conservationist/Senior Supervisor must also be included.  All documentation and questions should be submitted directly to Dana Ashford-Kornburger at

CRM – Farm Records Software Update

This morning, Web Transmittal 664 was posted. Below is an overview of the software updates implemented over the weekend:

Display Improvements:

The Farm Record’s Recent items on the left navigation has been changed to display the Admin County-Admin State-Farm Number instead of displaying the IBase number:

The Field Level Farm Hierarchy Display has been enhanced to expand upon selection so all field level attributes in the hierarchy can be seen and are not truncated. The farm hierarchy will only expand when a field is selected from the hierarchy list:

Modified Functionality:

The system will now allow a CCC-517 to redistribute bases between tract prior to a CCC-505 when a farm is out-of-balance. This will allow producers to adjust bases between tracts using the wizard before completing a permanent base reduction for the farm. This was an indicated pain point from county office staff and NASCOE.

The system will now calculate the CCC-505 CRP Reduction acres during a tract division. Reduction acres will be prorated to resulting tracts based on the number of CRP cropland acres each tract receives. Users will still need to enter a new CRP contract number in the wizard for the resulting tracts. Subparagraph 309 C, step 13G provides instructions for prorating CCC-505 CRP Reduction acres during a tract division. These steps will be amended with the next handbook update to indicate that the system will now perform the proration calculation in the wizard. All other instructions remain the same.

New Functionality:

Producer notification letters have been added to the “More” dropdown menu. Notification letters for owner and operator changes and boundary/acreage changes can now be generated when required according to 10-CM. The following four types of letters have been included, which are based off the notification letters in 10-CM with some modification to allow for the system generation in CRM:

  • Boundary and Acreage Change
  • Operator Change Notification Letter
  • Owner Change Notification Letter to Current/Prior Owners
  • Owner Change Notification Letter to Operator

Basic steps to generate a notification letter include:

  1. Select the “More” drop down menu → Select “Producer Notification Letters”
  2. Select the Notification Letter Type from the drop down menu
  3. Select the applicable producer
  4. Click “Producer Notification” icon to generate the letter

Additional guidance for the notification letters is forthcoming.
This will be included in the next update to 10-CM.

NASCOE Program Submission Response: CARS

ISSUE:

When adding acreage information when in the bulk copy setting, you have the ability to select a field number that has the acreage already reported on it.

FACTS:

Being able to select a field that has already been information on it causes an error message to appear after you have tried to add the bulk copy, but will only tell you one field at a time that has already been completed(if you have multiple fields that have already been completed in the review screen, it will only show one field at a time that needs to be changed). This causes more time being taken to remove the field that already has information on it.

SOLUTION:

I think it would be very beneficial to have an error message that states all the fields that have the crop information already on them and see if you want to continue or cancel the submission.

WDC Response: 

I will add this to the list of IT enhancements for consideration.

NASCOE Program Submission Response: CARS & FSA-578s

ISSUE:

It would be extremely helpful to the county office if we could have a section on the 578 that lists the Producer’s share of the acres.  For example, John Doe has 2 farms, Farm 1 @ 100 acres and it is 100% his.  Farm 2 @ 250 acres, but it is on a 50/50 share.  This year, John Doe plants all of his acres to corn.  On the 578 it lists 350 acres of corn.  But John’s share is 225 acres. 

FACTS:

I’m not sure if there are any facts other than CARS does not generate a report or 578 that lists the producer’s share of the acres he/she farms.  But MFP and other programs are calculating the producer’s share of the acres. 

SOLUTION:

Update CARS to have a report of the producer’s share of the acres by crop he/she farms and list the producer’s share of the acres by crop on the FSA-578. 

WDC Response:

I believe this can be accomplish using the EDW producer crop detail report.  This is not a canned report so the user will need to export the data and query information for the specific producer.

NASCOE Program Submission Response: Continuous Acreage Certification

ISSUE:

To obtain the FSA-578C Continuous Certification form in CARS, an acreage report must be certified before the form can be printed.

FACTS:

According to 2-CP par 35, continuous acreage certification was developed to streamline the acreage reporting process and reduce producer visits to the County Office as well as reduce network congestion.  A lot of times, acreage reports are taken over the phone and printed for when the producer stops by to sign.  In order to get the 578C continuous coverage form that goes with the acreage report, some County Offices are certifying the acreage report, printing the form, then removing the certification dates after the form has been obtained.  In doing this, incorrect dates could potentially be entered back into the system.  A blank form can also be obtained from the FSA forms site but County Office staff must input all pertinent information when all of this information is already located in CARS. 

In doing this, it is only an attempt to provide the best customer service to our producers.

SOLUTION:

Remove the mandatory certification date in CARS in order to obtain the FSA-578C.  The producer is not signing up for continuous certification until they mark “Yes” in the boxes on the 578C and sign.

WDC Response: 

Policy requires at least one field of the crop, type, and intended use to be certified.  Because of this CARS requires the certification in order to obtain the FSA-578C.  I will work with policy to see if this functionality can be changed to not tie the printing of the FSA-578C to the continuous signature date.

NASCOE Program Submission: Common Programs / Farm Records / Recons / Transfers

ISSUE:

CARS-after removing a producer either as other tenant or owner in farm records, the producer still remains on the acreage report when the crop rolls over.

FACTS:

If a PT or farmer is not paying attention during the certification process the wrong producer gets the share if the crop rolls over.

SOLUTION:

When an edit in farm records removes the producer and you hit refresh farm data in CARS it should automatically delete any fields that the removed producer gets a share of.  Just like it does when a field edit is done.

WDC RESPONSE:

Current software requires 100 percent shares to be loaded.  I will add this to the list of IT enhancements for discussion and consideration.

NASCOE Program Submission: Common Programs / Farm Records / Recons / Transfers

ISSUE:

2-CP requires a hard map with crops certified to accompany the 578. 2-CP, Paragraph 340 allows you to use Cars maps when Citrix is down. We are finding Citrix down more often than not and printing delays are great running from remote servers. We would like to use cars maps more often, but often you cannot see the field numbers due to the zoom level. With the 578 being the heart of most of our programs, we need our acreage reporting tools to be as user friendly as possible.

FACTS:

We are having to use a combination of MIDAS, maps that you cannot read the field number on or the citrix software with workarounds to certify farms. It is creating huge time delays in certifying farms. If a COR was to review the map, it would be difficult to pass a COR review of marking every field with required information.

SOLUTION:

Have CARS Maps being able to change the zoom level of maps, so that labels fit inside of fields. Perhaps rotate the page orientation, so there is also more printing area. The other solution would be to run the required fixes on Citrix, so we can get legible maps printed out of Citrix.

WDC Response: 

This is a very valid concern and I will be include this suggestion on our IT Investment List for discussion and consideration.  Your feedback is very much appreciated.   Thank you and have a great day!

NASCOE Program Submission Response: Acreage Reporting in CARS

ISSUE:

I absolutely love the auto populated initials on the 578, but I had an incident this morning where my producer spilled his Dr. Pepper on the farm folder after it was signed. I went in to the software to print a new 578 to resign the one that took place of the destroyed copy. When I went to print without revising, it put my initials down as a revision.

FACTS:

All revisions have to be documented in the COC minutes according to 2-CP. When initials are placed on a 578 as a revision, it will make it look like an erroneous revision.

SOLUTION:

Adjust the CARS software to read if a field was truly revised or if it is just a reprint.

WDC Response:

I will add this item to the list of IT enhancements for discussion and consideration.