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USDA Announces IT Modernization of Farm Service Agency to Improve Delivery of Service to Producers Throughout the Country

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that USDA has awarded a major contract to improve the delivery of agricultural services and benefits to producers by using modern, secure and reliable technology. The Application Transformation and Modernization (ATM) System Integrator Blanket Purchase Agreement contract was awarded to SRA, International of Fairfax, Va.

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Modernizing USDA's business and information technology is part of Vilsack's goal to transform USDA into a premier organization of highly motivated, collaborative and mutually-supportive employees who are committed to creating an inclusive, diverse workplace environment that achieves high standards of performance and exceptional customer service.

"USDA is committed to improving service delivery and addressing outdated technology issues to meet the needs of our customers," said Vilsack. "We also must provide our dedicated state and county office employees with the tools, information and training to administer FSA farm programs. This contract award is a major step toward reaching these goals."

As part of the cultural transformation of USDA, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) will be one of the first agencies to use the ATM Blanket Purchase Agreement to support the implementation and development of the Modernize and Innovate the Delivery of Agricultural Systems (MIDAS) Project. The FSA MIDAS Project is a priority modernization effort that will transform the way FSA delivers farm program services and benefits to producers, farmers and ranchers through more than 2,200 offices throughout the United States.

The purpose of MIDAS is to modernize USDA's delivery of farm benefit programs and services by:

* streamlining farm program business processes;

* rapidly implementing new farm programs;

* moving to modern, reliable technology platforms; and most importantly,

* improving access and convenience for producers, ranchers and farmers.

The ATM System Integrator Blanket Purchase Agreement contract is made possible in part because of funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. ARRA was written to put Americans back to work and rejuvenate the nation's ailing economy. With these funds, USDA is providing the necessary resources to ensure that farmers continue to contribute to local economies, that agencies take steps to build and preserve critical infrastructure in communities across America and that they implement new resources for conservation measures.

For more information about FSA and its use of ARRA funds, stop by your local Farm Service Agency service center or go to www.fsa.usda.gov.

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