Ask FSA Andy about FSA signature policy

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

Hello again!

Where else but in Ohio can it be a balmy 40 degrees one day and down to 7 with wind chills in the negatives the next day? I could not help but pause this morning as I topped the hill at the farm to see the beautiful sunrise — the wheat fields a vibrant green, the meadows and pastures at rest, the remaining snowdrifts dotting the landscape and the trees standing resolute against the winter wind. How wonderful to live where we can experience the marvels of the changing seasons.

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

FSA 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 minor’s 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.

Faxed signatures

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

Signing for someone

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. 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., that 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, contact your local Farm Service Agency.

See you next week,

FSA Andy



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