The Budget supports the Secretary’s efforts to reorganize Agency functions to improve the customer and consumer experience. Under the new structure, the Farm Service Agency, Risk Management Agency, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service would be merged under the Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. In addition, the Secretary has established an Under Secretary of Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs to sharpen USDA’s focus on increasing agriculture exports to foreign markets. The Budget also supports consolidating fair practices, standards work, and commodity procurement within the Agricultural Marketing Service. These, and other related reorganizations, are expected to improve the way USDA delivers its services. In addition, the Budget supports the creation of a business innovation center in each mission area that would handle support activities in order to avoid duplicative functions and maximize collaboration between agencies.The Budget proposes to optimize and improve crop insurance and commodity programs in a way that maintains a strong safety net. The Budget does this while also achieving savings, eliminating subsidies to higher income farmers, and reducing overly generous crop insurance premium subsidies to farmers and payments made to private sector insurance companies. The Budget includes a bold set of proposals, including those that would reduce the average premium subsidy for crop insurance from 62 percent to 48 percent and limit commodity, conservation, and crop insurance subsidies to those producers that have an Adjusted Gross Income of $500,000 or less. In addition, the Budget proposes reductions to overly generous subsidies provided to participating insurance companies by capping underwriting gains at 12 percent, which would ensure that the companies receive a reasonable rate of return given the risks associated with their participation in the crop insurance program. The Budget proposes to eliminate an unnecessary and separate payment limit for peanut producers and limit eligibility for commodity subsidies to one manager per farm.
Improves Customer Service. Modernizing program delivery and improving customer service at USDA is an important focus of the Administration. USDA is partnering with the White House Office of American Innovation to modernize its systems undertaking four key strategies: strengthening strategic IT governance; consolidating end-user services and data centers; enabling a strategic approach to data management and introducing data-driven capabilities; and improving the USDA customer experience. The Budget supports these efforts to improve service delivery by requesting funds to develop a centralized customer service portal for customers served by the Department’s three service center agencies. This single, integrated, producer-centric web portal would provide expanded and more effective and efficient access to useful online USDA services to meet the needs of agricultural producers. By optimizing service delivery, USDA can support agricultural producers to reach their productive potential and advance the U.S. economy