USDA leverages modern technology and digital tools to improve customer service

Posted by Megen Davis, Director, Strategic Planning, Center for Information Resource Management, Office of the Chief Information Officer in Technology

Jul 28, 2022

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is committed to leading the way in customer-centric, data-driven service delivery across the federal government. Our goal is to accelerate the use of modern technology and digital tools that our internal and external customers expect in all aspects of their lives. We’ve made significant strides in advancing technology capabilities, including creating the Chief Data Officer’s Office (CDO) and Customer Experience Office (OCX). The Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), through the IT Modernization initiative, has made major progress in modernizing our information technology (IT) infrastructure to be that she is today.

While these advances are a promising start, to realize the USDA’s vision, we must continue our efforts to develop innovative solutions that support and empower America’s farmers, ranchers, foresters, growers and consumers. The recently released USDA IT Strategic Plan (PDF, 19 MB) identifies the goals, objectives, and strategies we will use to continuously improve the Department’s services to the American public. This IT plan complements the Fiscal Year 2022-2026 Departmental Strategic Plan (PDF, 9.6 MB) to collectively focus on meaningfully improving lives and livelihoods across America.

Both plans aim to set a new standard of excellence in customer experience and service. When the American public interacts with the USDA, they benefit from a simple, transparent and secure customer experience, on par with the best consumer experiences. USDA customers should be able to:

  • Easily find information about USDA services that may be useful to them with just a few clicks through our website home page, a search engine, or a phone call to a customer contact center.
  • Fill out forms, provide digital signatures, upload documents, pay fees and use self-service digital tools to manage their interactions with government benefits and services.
  • Provide common information to the USDA once and control what data is shared or pre-populated in interagency forms or services.
  • Get answers and customer support on-demand, via web, SMS/SMS, email, chat, phone, or in person, including self-service, personalized, and agent-delivered options without the wait.
  • Schedule and reschedule appointments online for in-person office or field visits.

We are committed to accelerating and expanding these innovations to improve USDA services to our customers. Through the processes and approaches we offer, the USDA can make major strides to enable modern service delivery, improve data-driven decision-making, eliminate duplication of effort, reduce costly and time-prone manual processes. errors, improve the skills of our IT staff, and ensure the continued strengthening of USDA’s cybersecurity posture.


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