WASHINGTON, APRIL 24
— Effectively immediately, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) financial assistance program participants will no longer need a Dun and Bradstreet Universal Number System (DUNS) number, or to register in the System for Award Management (SAM). The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 (2018 Omnibus Bill), signed by President Donald Trump on March 23, eliminated these requirements. According to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, DUNS and SAM were designed for billion-dollar government contractors, not everyday farmers trying to support their families. These changes help streamline the customer experience of farmers, which is a top priority at USDA, he said. “This change greatly simplifies the contracting process for our customers and staff,” said Acting NRCS Chief Leonard Jordan. “Conservation program participants will soon receive letters from their local NRCS office with more details.” The exemption does not apply to any current or future agreements or federal contracts with eligible entities, project sponsors, vendors, partners, or other non-exempt landowners or producers. DUNS/SAM registration is still required for: Partnership agreements entered through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). All agreements with eligible entities under the Farm and Ranchland Protection Program (FRPP) Agreements under the Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) component of ACEP. Partnership agreements under the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Program (WREP) component of ACEP-Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE). Watershed operations agreements with project sponsors. Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) agreements with project sponsors, including Recovery and Floodplain Easements. All cooperative, contribution, inter-agency, or partnership agreements of Federal contracts used by NRCS to procure goods or services. NRCS advises participants in its programs to ignore any emails, phone calls or other communications from third-party vendors offering assistance for registering in SAM or applying for a DUNS number. To learn more about NRCS financial and technical assistance, go to www.nrcs.usda.gov.