Ask FAS Andy about signature policy


Hello Friends,

In looking over the last days of January for something fun to celebrate and write about I decided on Jan. 28 which is National Have Fun at Work Day.

My advice has always been to find a career and job you like to do and enjoy. While at work feel free to “let go” every once in a while and have a good laugh. After all laughter is good for the soul.

This is also National Kazoo Day which was created to celebrate the kazoo and the joy it brings to people of all ages. As a way to celebrate both, may I suggest you go buy a pack of kazoos, hand them out at work.

• • •

This week concludes our yearly notification and reminders. We are going to review our signature policy and Power of Attorney forms.

Signature policy

Using the correct signature when doing business with FSA can save time and prevent a delay in program benefits. The following are FSA signature guidelines:

  • A married woman shall sign her given name: Mrs. Mary Doe, not Mrs. John Doe
  • For a minor, FSA requires the minors’ signature and one from an eligible parent

Note, by signing the applicable document, the parent is liable for actions of the minor and may be liable for refunds, liquidated damages, etc.

When signing on one’s behalf the signature must agree with the name typed or printed on the form, or be a variation that does not cause the name and signature to be in disagreement.

Make the signature legible

Fazed signatures will be accepted for certain forms and other documents provided the acceptable program forms are approved for faxed signatures.

Producers are responsible for the successful transmission and receipt of faxed information.

Examples of documents not approved for faxed signatures include:

  • Promissory note
  • Assignment of payment
  • Joint payment authorization
  • NAP actual production history and approved yield record
  • Acknowledgement of commodity certificate purchase
  • Financing statement
  • UCC financing statement

Spouses may sign documents on behalf of each other for FSA and CCC programs in which either has an interest, unless written notification denying a spouse this authority has been provided to the county office.

Spouses shall not sign on behalf of each other as an authorized signatory for partnerships, joint ventures, corporations or other similar entities.

All members of a general partnership must sign for the general partnership unless an individual is authorized to act on the behalf of the general partnership and bind all members.

Spouses may sign on behalf of each other’s individual interest in a partnership, unless notification denying a spouse that authority is provided to the county office.

Acceptable signatures for general partnerships, joint ventures, corporations, estates and trusts shall consist of an indicator “by” or “for” the individual’s name, individual’s name and capacity, or individual’s name, capacity, and name of entity.

Power of attorney

FSA has a required power of attorney form available for those who find it difficult to visit the county office personally because of work schedules, distance, health, etc.

The form enables the participant to designate another person to conduct his or her business at the office. This can be done by completing an FSA-211, Power of Attorney.

The form is available at your local FSA office. The FSA-211 form obtained and completed outside the USDA Service Centers offices must be notarized. If you have any questions or concerns, contact your local Farm Service Agency.

See you next week,

FSA Andy


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FSA Andy is written by USDA Farm Service Agency county executive directors in northeastern Ohio.



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