Standard Program Application Package by NRCS

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									Natural Resources Conservation Service
Issued: September 2007, Davis, CA
                                              Helping People Help the Land
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Standard Program Application Package:
         •    Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) – Fiscal Year 2008
Introduction:
This program application package is provided by NRCS in California to applicants for the EQIP
program and includes information about documents that are likely to be needed by NRCS to
determine eligibility and general procedures to follow. Application to these programs is made at the
local NRCS field office located in or serving the county where the project is physically located.
Additional EQIP program information and local NRCS office locations can be found online at:
       http://www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/EQIP/

Note: Application to EQIP for fiscal year 2008 must be made by Friday, November 2, 2007.
A copy of the application and other forms may be obtained at your local NRCS office or online at:
       http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/eforms/

EQIP Program Application Form:
   Form NRCS-CPA-1200 – Conservation Program Application
        (The official application you sign, date and submit must be printed at your local NRCS office)

Table of Contents:
1.   Basic Application Process
2.   Detailed Application Procedure – 12 Steps
3.   NRCS program eligibility requirements Fact Sheet
4.   NRCS program application, contract and payment document signature requirements Fact Sheet
5.   Example Program Conservation Plan or Schedule of Operations form NRCS-CPA-1155.
6.   Payment Eligibility Average Adjusted Gross Income Certification Fact Sheet.
Basic Application Process:
1. Develop a conservation plan – Your local NRCS office can help!
   A conservation plan is not required for application to EQIP, but a conservation plan is needed prior to the
   ranking process. EQIP is a competitive program and the earlier you make decisions about conservation
   practices you would like considered for funding, the faster NRCS will be able to rank your project.
2. Review program eligibility requirements & additional forms that might be needed.
   Application to NRCS programs requires disclosure of information and agreement to a legal contract. Funds
   paid to program participants are subject to reporting to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax purposes.
   Applicants need to understand their legal obligations and responsibilities associated with an EQIP contract.
   Additional detail about signature requirements, land, person and entity eligibility is found in the attached
   Fact Sheet and at the online website listed above.
3. Complete form NRCS-CPA-1200 – Conservation Program Application.
   If you confident that you meet eligibility requirements and will submit a program application, schedule an
   appointment at your local NRCS office to complete the basic program application form. A copy of form
   NRCS-CPA-1200 can also be obtained at the above listed “eforms” website.
4. Establish or update your Farm Service Agency (FSA) “Farm Records”.
   In order to complete some land, individual or entity member certifications and associated eligibility
   determinations, the applicant(s) must establish or update Farm Records at the appropriate Farm Service
   Agency (FSA) County Office. More detail regarding these records and certifications may be found in the
   attached Fact Sheet and at the online website listed above.
5. If needed, complete new or update following forms and certifications (Available at eforms website):
    - SF-1199A – Direct Deposit Sign-Up form.
    - AD-1026 - Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) Certification.
    - NRCS-CPA-09 – Power of Attorney and establishment of signature authority.
    - CCC-526 – Payment Eligibility Average Adjusted Gross Income Certification.
    - CCC-501A – Entity Member Information (Corporation, partnership, joint venture, estate, trust, etc).
    - NRCS-LTP-5 - Producer Certification of Irrigation History (Available only at your local NRCS office.)
    - Land ownership or control – You may be required to provide evidence of control of land through
      ownership documents (deeds, etc) or lease information (rental agreements, permits, lease, etc).
    - Signature authority – If the applicant is an entity, documents such as articles of incorporation, charter,
      bylaws, partnership agreements, trust agreements, wills and similar legal evidence.
    - Proof of Identity – Authorized persons may be required to show valid state driver’s license, passport or
      other personal identification as well as Social Security or EIN numbers, address and other information.


Review and complete each of the steps to assure that you application is submitted by deadlines and processed
successfully. Incomplete applications may be deferred to the next funding cycle. Deferred applications may be
re-submitted when complete for the next fiscal year ranking cycle. EQIP applications are accepted on a
continuous basis.

Note: Confidential and private information: Many of the program application forms or documentation requires the applicant to
provide sensitive, contact, financial or other confidential information. Disclosure of this data is voluntary, but failure to provide
the required information in a timely manner may result in the deferral of an application or denial of a benefit payment. By law
and policy, confidential, private and sensitive information is protected by USDA and employees and agency partners are
subject to penalty and disciplinary action for inappropriate or mismanagement of private data.
Detailed Application Process:
Additional information about each of these forms as related to the program application process is included
in the following detailed procedures.
 Step                                                             Reference
        Develop a Conservation Plan:
              All EQIP program applications must be
        supported by a conservation plan which                    Your local NRCS office will help you develop a
        documents decisions by the producer or applicant          conservation plan. For more information about
  1     and serves as the basis for determination of              conservation planning, visit:
        program environmental ranking. Note: Currently, a         http://www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/cpi.html
        current conservation plan is not a requirement for
        initial application, but a plan approved by NRCS
        must be developed and approved prior to ranking.
        Learn about the program:
             Read fact sheets, information on web sites
        and contact local NRCS office. Application can be
  2     made to these programs at any time; however,              http://www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip/
        complete applications will be evaluated and
        ranked at specific dates. Check program website
        for current year deadlines.
        Review all the forms in this package
        and program eligibility requirements:
             Application to NRCS programs requires
        disclosure of information and agreement to a legal
        contract. Funds paid to program participants are
        subject to reporting to the Internal Revenue
        Service (IRS) for tax purposes. It is imperative that     Read and understand each form and the kind
        applicants understand their legal obligations and         of information required. Note form Appendix to
        responsibilities associated with the program              CPA-1202 contains the legal obligations of the
  3     contract. Signatures by authorized applicants and         program participant and agency.
        representatives is indication to abide by provisions
                                                                  “NRCS Program Eligibility Requirements”
        of the contract. Please review your legal rights.
                                                                  Fact Sheet
             Additional detail and explanation about land,
        person, and program eligibility is found in an
        enclosed Fact Sheet. All representatives of
        entities or individual applicants will need to identify
        themselves, disclose EIN or Social Security
        numbers in order to be entered in a secure USDA
        client database (SCIMS).
        Begin filling out form NRCS-CPA-1200:
            If you are confident that you will be submitting
        a program application and will meet eligibility
        requirements, you should begin manual entry of
        the CPA-1200 application form. The questions on
        the form will help you gather additional information      Conservation Program Application – CPA-1200
  4
        that will be needed to complete the application           Submit to NRCS.
        process. Some of the questions on the form will
        point you to other application or eligibility
        requirements or documentation that will need to
        be provided to either NRCS or Farm Service
        Agency (FSA) employees.
Step                                                             Reference
       Establish or update your “Farm Records”:
            In order to complete some land, individual or
       entity member certifications and program eligibility
       determinations, the applicant(s) must establish or
       update Farm Records at the appropriate Farm
       Service Agency (FSA) County Office. NRCS staff
       cannot create these records for you. Farm                 Visit or make an appointment at your local
 5                                                               Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Office.
       Records include location and identification of legal
       land boundaries and ownership. You will need to
       show deeds, leases or other documentation to
       indicate control of the land. FSA will assign Farm
       and Tract numbers to the land for which you want
       a program contract. NRCS cannot process your
       application until your Farm Records are ready.
       Complete new or updated form SF-1199A:
            Program payments must be made by
       electronic direct deposit to your financial
       institution. Payments are made by the USDA                Direct Deposit Sign-Up form SF-1199A.
 6     National Finance Center (NFC) which also issues           Submit to NRCS with application.
       IRS form 1099, miscellaneous income for tax
       purposes. Make sure the account you select for
       deposits is the correct account to be associated
       with program benefits for tax purposes.
       Establish Signature Authorities:
            If application is by an individual(s), authority
       for signature authority is fairly straightforward. If     “NRCS program application, contract, and
       individual applicants desire other persons or             payment document signature requirements”
 7     agents to be able to legally represent or sign on         Fact Sheet and form NRCS-CPA-09, “Power of
       their behalf, Power of Attorney form CPA-09               Attorney” (POA).
       should be completed. If the applicant is an entity,       Submit to NRCS with application.
       authority for representation and signatures must
       be established before the application can be
       processed.
       Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland
       Conservation Certification, form AD-1026:
            All program applicants must submit or update         Visit or make an appointment at your local
       their Farm Records managed by the Farm Service            Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Office.
 8     Agency (FSA) regarding compliance with the Food           Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC)
       Security Act of 1985, as amended. Applicants              and Wetland Conservation (WC) Certification,
       must identify all the farming interests with affiliated   form AD-1026.
       persons or members of entities. Additional
       information regarding this eligibility determination
       is available from the Farm Service Agency.
 Step                                                            Reference
        Payment Eligibility Average Adjusted Gross
        Income Certification, form CCC-526:
            The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act           Visit or make an appointment at your local
        of 2002 included average adjusted gross income           Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Office.
  9
        (AGI) as a payment eligibility requirement for           Payment Eligibility Average Adjusted Gross
        individuals or entities subject to the rule. The Farm    Income Certification form CCC-526.
        Service Agency is responsible for making AGI
        determinations.
        Entity Member Information, form CCC-501A:                Visit or make an appointment at your local
            If the program applicant is an entity such as a      Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Office.
        corporation, partnership, joint venture, estate, trust   Entity Member’s Information, form CCC-501A.
  10    or similar organization, form CCC-501A,
                                                                 Also, refer to: “NRCS program application,
        Member’s Information must be completed. The
                                                                 contract, and payment document signature
        Farm Service Agency is responsible for
                                                                 requirements” Fact Sheet.
        processing form CCC-501A.
        Self Certification – Limited Resource Farmer or
        Beginning Farmer Status:
            If claiming status as a Limited Resource             For more information, visit these websites:
  11    Farmer (LRF) or Beginning Farmer (BF), you must          http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/SLB_Farmer/
        make this declaration in question #2 on form             http://www.lrftool.sc.egov.usda.gov/
        NRCS-CPA-1200 at the time of application.
        Participants who claim LRF or BF status will
        Submit Completed Application:
             Complete applications must be submitted by
        the published current year program deadline, to
        the NRCS Field Office in the County where the
        project is physically located. Applications cannot
        be submitted electronically or online. If Farm           Visit or make an appointment at your local
        Records have not been established or other               NRCS Field Office to submit your completed
  12    required certifications and eligibility determinations   application and other required documentation.
        have not been completed, the application cannot          NRCS offices may be located at:
        be processed. Also, NRCS will need to complete
                                                                 http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=ca
        additional program eligibility determinations (e.g.
        Producer eligibility, Land eligibility, Irrigation
        History, etc) before the application can be
        processed. As mentioned in Step 1, a certified
        Conservation Plan must also be developed prior
        to ranking the application.

After submission of your application, the NRCS Field Office will notify you in writing that your
application has been accepted for processing or if additional information is needed. Acceptance
of your application for processing does not constitute approval of a contract or agreement to
provide program benefits. Do not start or install any practices included in the proposed program
application until the contract is approved by the NRCS Designate on form NRCS-CPA-1202.

Thank you for your interest and participation in NRCS Conservation Programs!
                                                                  NRCS Program
Natural Resources Conservation Service
                                                                  Eligibility
United States Department of Agriculture
California NRCS State Office – November 2006                      Requirements
          Fact Sheet                                                             Contact your local NRCS office for additional
                                                                                   information regarding program application
                                                                                 information and other eligibility requirements.
                                                    Helping People Help the Land


  ●   Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
  ●   Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP)
  ●   Conservation Security Program (CSP)
  ●   Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP)
Each program administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has
specific purposes and eligibility requirements for application and to allow participation in the
program. However, there are documents, forms, certifications and other requirements which
are common to all of the four programs listed. This Fact Sheet provides guidance to help
program applicants understand and successfully complete the process of application for the
following specific eligibility requirements (Note: Each program will have additional application
requirements that will also need to be completed):
                                                                                                   Required for the following programs
Eligibility Requirement or Program Form
                                                                                                   EQIP    WHIP       CSP       WRP
Program Application Form – NRCS-CPA-1200                                                               X            X          X
Program Contract Appendix Form – NRCS-CPA-1202                                                         X            X          X
Program Application Form AD-1153                                                                                                   X
Farm Records – Farm Service Agency (FSA)                                                               X            X          X   X
Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation Determination – Form
                                                                                                       X            X          X   X
AD-1026 (HELC/WC)
Electronic Direct Deposit Form – AD-1199a                                                              X            X          X   X
Power of Attorney Authorization (POA) – NRCS-CPA-09 (if applicable)                                    X            X          X   X
Payment Eligibility Average Adjusted Gross Income Certification (AGI) –
                                                                                                       X            X          X   X
CCC-526
Business Entity Member Ownership Information – CCC-501                                                 X            X          X   X
USDA Service Center Information Management System (SCIMS)                                              X            X          X   X
The following pages provide additional detail about these requirements and exemptions for
specific eligibility determinations. Applications for program benefits must also meet legal
requirements for signature authority. Consult the Fact Sheet “NRCS Program Application,
Contract and Payment Signature Requirements” for more information.

Note - Confidential and private information: Many of the program application forms require the client to provide
sensitive, private contact, financial or other confidential information. Disclosure of this data is voluntary, but
failure to provide the required information in a timely manner may result in the deferral of an application or denial
of a benefit payment. USDA employees are required by law to protect confidential and sensitive information and
are subject to penalty and disciplinary action for inappropriate release or mismanagement of private data.

                       The Natural Resources Conservation Service provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people
                                     conserve, maintain, and improve our natural resources and environment.
                                                   An Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer
How to apply:
To apply for program benefits, applicants must submit a signed and dated form for the specific program as noted in the
table on the previous page. Before NRCS can proceed further, the applicant(s) must also be established in the Service
Center Information System (SCIMS) and have the following records established, certifications completed and filed at the
USDA Service Center (440-V-CPM, Amend. 32, October 2006). Applicants who do not provide the required information
and applications that are incomplete cannot be processed. Program application forms NRCS-CPA-1200 and AD-1153
may be obtained at your local NRCS office or online at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/.

Service Center Information System (SCIMS):
SCIMS is the common customer database repository for the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm
Service Agency (FSA) and Rural Development (RD) agency. It is used to record information about individuals, entities,
contact information and other program related information. Program applicants and persons seeking NRCS technical
assistance must be entered into the SCIMS system. This web based system meets all modern requirements to protect
sensitive client information and is maintained in a very secure network accessed only by agency staff that has been
properly trained before access is provided. In order to enter an individual into the SCIMS system, the person must appear
in person at an NRCS office show legal identification, provide contact information (Address, phone, land location, email)
and if an entity, identify the kind or type of business. Representatives of entities must provide legal proof they have the
authority to represent the business or organization. It is critical that the correct type of business be identified in the SCIMS
as this will relate directly to tax records tied to Employer Identification Numbers (EIN) and how program payments are
reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Usually the SCIMS record only has be established once by the person or
entity representative unless changes or updates need to be records.

Farm Records:
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) maintains an electronic database for identification and management of business data for
USDA program participants and physical properties. Generally, the database is used to assign property identification
numbers (Farm, Tract and Field numbers), locations, ownership, and other required information needed to complete and
record eligibility determinations such as HELC/WC, AGI and payment limitations. In order to establish these farm records,
program applicants must visit a local FSA county office and provide proof of ownership, personal identification and/or
information regarding the legal business entity which will be applying for program benefits, deeds, leases, location maps
and other data needed to establish farm records. FSA database farm records are needed to tie physical locations of
properties to producers and program benefits. Identification of the correct business interest is critical to assure the right
eligibility determinations are associated with the correct land units, for payment limitation related calculations, for tax
reporting purposes and other legal and program related procedures. Farm records must be established before NRCS can
accept and process program applications. If a business entity is the program applicant, it is likely that members
associated with the business interest must also be identified. See “Entity Member Information” following.

Business Entity Member Information – File form CCC-501
If the program applicant is an entity such as a General Partnership (GP), Joint Venture (JV), Corporation, Limited Liability
Company (LLC), Limited Partnership (LP), Estate, Trust, Charitable Organization or other similar business, the
organization may be required to complete form CCC-501, “Member’s Information”. Tribal governments and other entities
under certain conditions are exempt from filing this form. For entities which do require listing of members (Includes
“embedded” entity companies), each person will need to provide proof of identity, social security number, address and the
“shares” or percent interest the individual may have in the company. The CCC-501 form may be obtained at your local
NRCS office or online at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/.

Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation Determination – File form AD-1026
The Food Security Act of 1985, as amended, removes certain incentives to produce agricultural commodity crops on
converted wetlands or highly erodible land, unless the highly erodible land is protected from excessive erosion. Farmers
must comply with the provisions of the Food Security Act in order to make application or receive USDA program benefits.
NRCS makes determinations of Highly Erodible Land (HEL) and Wetland as defined by the Act and any actions needed
by producers to comply with requirements of the Act. The Farm Service Agency evaluates the need for producers to
obtain an HEL or Wetland determination based upon form AD-1026, provided by program applicants. The Farm Service
Agency also maintains the official record of compliance with the Food Security Act and information provided by the client
on the AD-1026 form. This form may be obtained at your local NRCS office or online at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/.
Information regarding the HEL/Wetland provisions of the Food Security Act is available at your local NRCS office or online
at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/compliance/


                                                                                                                               2
Payment Eligibility Average Adjusted Gross Income Certification – File form CCC-526
The Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) provision of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Farm Bill) limits the
eligibility of certain individuals and entities for USDA commodity and conservation program benefits. The Commodity
Credit Corporation (CCC) published 7 CFR Part 1400 subpart G entitled “Income Limits” in the Federal Register on June
4, 2003, which sets forth the criteria applied in determining program benefit eligibility. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is
responsible for making AGI determinations based upon information provided by program applicants on form CCC-526.
Governmental agencies, federally recognized Tribal governments and certain businesses may be exempt from AGI
provisions as determined by the Farm Service Agency. All information provided on form CCC-526 for the purposes of
determining compliance with the AGI provision will remain confidential and not subject to request submitted under the
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The form CCC-526 may be obtained at your local NRCS office or online at:
http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/. Information regarding AGI provisions of the Food Security Act is available at your local
NRCS office or online at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/farmbill/.

Electronic Direct Deposit – File form AD-1199a
Program policy requires that all payment benefits be transmitted electronically to program participants. Applicants must
submit form AD-1199a indicating the name of the person or entity who will receive payment(s), U.S. financial institution
routing number, and an account number which allows for electronic deposit of program payments. If you need assistance
in getting this information or help filling out the form, your local financial institution should be able to assist you. It is
important to keep direct deposit information up to date and correct. If your banking information changes any time during
the period your contract is active, payments may be delayed or lost. Submittal of this form also tells NRCS where to send
form AD-1099 income reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Power of Attorney (POA) – File form NRCS-CPA-09
For entities, spouses or joint operations, NRCS requires that the program applicant identify the person or persons who are
legally authorized to sign forms, contracts, payment requests and other documents. Without delegation for signature
authorization, all members of the entity may be required to sign documents which may not be convenient or desired. The
NRCS form used to delegate signature authority is the Power of Attorney form NRCS-CPA-09 available at your local
NRCS office or online at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/. For additional information about signature authority, consult the
CA Fact Sheet “NRCS Program Application, Contract and Payment Document Signature Requirements.”

Frequently Asked Questions:
Where can I go to obtain application forms and program information?
The best place to obtain this information is at the local NRCS office where you will also submit your application and
supporting documents. This is usually the same county where you property is located. The nearest NRCS office can be
found in your phone book under Federal Government, or online at: http://offices.usda.gov. Additional information about
NRCS administered programs including criteria used for ranking and prioritization of applications for funding can be found
at: http://www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/.
Why do I have to submit a new Power of Attorney when one is already on file at the Farm Service Agency?
NRCS and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) administer different programs and have different requirement for eligibility.
Where program eligibility and producer information is the same, NRCS and FSA have worked to allow use of the same
data and forms (e.g. Direct Deposit, AGI, etc). For Power of Attorney (POA), although the forms appear similar there are
distinct differences in the information and authorizations allowed that are specific to the agency and program. For NRCS,
the required POA is form NRCS-CPA-09 which must be notarized. For FSA programs, the required POA is form AD-211.
Can I submit program applications online or view my personal information?
NRCS and other USDA agencies are working to develop secure system where producers can view and manage their
program information online. A demonstration of this system is available for viewing at: http://customerstatement.usda.gov/.
Eventually, USDA hopes to include a process for application, but this service is not yet available.
Do I have to submit or renew these certifications and forms every year I have an active contract?
Program application forms (NRCS-CPA-1200, AD-1153) only have to be submitted once. Program policy does require
submission or update of some forms and information every year. Other forms or data only need to be submitted if there is
a change in the operation or status of individuals. To be safe and avoid loss of benefit eligibility, it is wise to contact both
NRCS and FSA at least once a year to discuss update or need to submit new or revised documents. Of course if there is
any change in banking information, agricultural operations, ownership or control of properties under contract, or provisions
of the active contract, you must immediately notify your local NRCS office to determine what actions need to be taken to
maintain eligible status. Don’t risk loss of program benefits or assessment of penalties – Communicate regularly!

                                                                                                                                 3
                                                                  NRCS Program
                                                                  Application, Contract
Natural Resources Conservation Service
United States Department of Agriculture
                                                                  and Payment Document
California NRCS State Office – November 2006                      Signature Requirements
          Fact Sheet                                                             Contact your local NRCS office for additional
                                                                                   information regarding program application
                                                                                 information and other eligibility requirements.
                                                    Helping People Help the Land


To make sure that your application for NRCS programs is meeting all the needed
requirements for being accepted and considered, it is essential to provide the appropriate
legal signatures on all forms and documents. All applications, contracts and payment
requests must be signed by the person(s) legally authorized to execute these documents.
Without the right signatures your application may be deferred or denied – possibly USDA
could even seek return of program benefits obtained under an agreement with the incorrect
signature authority.
This fact sheet provide basic guidance to help you determine the correct signature
requirements for various kinds of agricultural operations or businesses you may be engaged
in that wish to apply for NRCS benefits. See your local Natural Resources Conservation
Service (NRCS) office for more information on program eligibility, legal contract requirements
and other help in submitting a program application or contract.

Frequently Asked Questions:
Why does a program application or contract need to have a legally authorized
signature?
If a program application is not signed by a person or legal representative of an entity, NRCS
has no legal authority to process the application. If a program contract is not signed by an
authorized individual or authority, program payments cannot be processed and any benefits
received may have to be refunded.
Can an individual sign NRCS documents on behalf of another individual or entity?
Under specific circumstances, yes; as long as acceptable evidence of legal authority is on file
with NRCS.
What kinds of documents must be provided as acceptable evidence of authority to
sign?
Legal documents designating signature authority may include a variety of legal consent
forms. For individuals and some entities, a notarized Power of Attorney (POA) using form
NRCS-CPA-09 is recommended to document proper authorization. For entities and business
organizations, corporate charter, bylaws, court orders of appointment, trust agreements, last
will and testament, or articles of partnership or incorporation might be acceptable. For
government agencies, use of official letterhead and similar documents usually provide
specific authority to obligate the unit of government which may be acceptable.




                                                                                                                                   1
                       The Natural Resources Conservation Service provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people
                                     conserve, maintain, and improve our natural resources and environment.
                                                   An Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer
Can any member of a general partnership sign NRCS documents if the partnership
agreement does not specify or restrict signature authority?
Yes. California state law allows any partner so sign and bind the partnership under these
circumstances (CA Corporations Code Section 16301).
Can any officer of a corporation sign NRCS documents if the articles or bylaws do not
specify or designate signature authority?
No. A Power of Attorney (NRCS-CPA-09 form), Board of Directors’ resolution, or other
corporate document must be provided to designate signature authority.
Does a Trust Agreement have to specifically provide signature authority to a trustee?
No. Any Trustee listed in the Trust document has signature authority.
Under spousal signature authority, can the spouse of a Trustee act on behalf of the
Trustee?
No. The spouse may only act on behalf of another individual if the person has been attached
to the program contract with zero percent interest, if a NRCS-CPA-09 POA has been
executed or other legal document giving the spouse signature authority.
Who can sign for a Joint Venture?
Each member of a joint venture must sign NRCS documents. For a husband and wife joint
venture, an individual may sign for their own interest and sign again for their spouse’s
individual interest.
What authority does Power of Attorney provide for NRCS programs?
The NRCS form CPA-09 is the official form to designate legal Power of Attorney (POA) and
authorization to sign on behalf of individuals and entities. This form must be properly signed,
notarized and remains legally effective until cancelled by the grantor, or either party dies,
becomes incompetent or incapacitated, or if an entity is legally dissolved. The POA can be
completed to allow authority for signing for specific NRCS programs and limited by program
year. Generally, the POA provides authorization for the individual to sign all program related
forms and documents including applications, contract obligations and payment requests. The
POA does not grant authority to the attorney-in-fact to act on behalf of the grantor to file
another POA to re-delegate authority.
What if I forget to submit the required signature authorization by the program
application due date?
NRCS cannot process any application that does not provide the proper legal signature and
authorization. Program applications which are not supported by the properly completed forms
and signature authorizations will be deferred or determined to be ineligible. Also, NRCS
cannot approve program contract obligations or payment requests without proper signature
authority.
Where can I go to obtain application forms and program information?
The best place to obtain this information is at the local NRCS office where you will also
submit your application and supporting documents. This is usually the same county where
your property is located. The nearest NRCS office can be found in your phone book under
Federal Government, or online at: http://offices.usda.gov/. Additional information about NRCS
administered programs including criteria used for ranking and prioritization of applications for
funding is found at: http://www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/.


 The table on the following page provides examples for basic signature requirements.2
Examples of typical types of business and acceptable evidence and signature authority:
Type of Business     Authorized Signatory           Acceptable Evidence of Authority                       Examples of Acceptable Signatures
Individual           Individual                     Signature by person                                    Joe Soilsaver

                     Other, including Spouse        Attached to contract with zero percent interest.       •   Joe Smith by Mary Smith
                     (Attorney-in-Fact or Agent)    NRCS-CPA-09 “Power of Attorney”
                     (Unless written notification
                                                                                                           •   By Mary Smith, spouse
                                                    Last Will and Testament
                     denying this authority has                                                            •   Mary Smith for Joe Smith
                     been provided)
                                                                                                           •   By Fred Forest
                                                                                                           •   By Fred Forest, POA
                                                                                                           •   Fred Forest POA for Joe Smith

General              Member of partnership          Partnership agreement (Articles of partnership)        •   By Joe Water
Partnership          who has been designated        Amended partnership agreement
                                                                                                           •   By Joe Water, Partner
                                                    NRCS-CPA-09 POA signed by all members
                                                                                                           •   W Farms by Joe Water
                     Other                          NRCS-CPA-09 POA signed by all members
                     (Attorney-in-Fact or Agent)    NRCS-CPA-09 POA signed by a member                     •   By Joe Johnson, Agent
                                                    authorized to sign for the partnership, unless         •   W Farms by Joe Johnson, Agent
                                                    redelegation is prohibited.
Note: In situations where the partnership agreement does not designate or restrict signature               •   Joe Johnson, Agent for W Farms
authority, NRCS may allow any partner to sign documents as permitted by California state law.
Joint Venture (JV)   Member of Joint Venture        Joint Ventures with a EIN or Tax ID Number:            By Larry Jones, POA for
                     Other                          All members must sign the document, or it may
                     (Attorney-in-Fact or Agent)    be signed by an Attorney-in-Fact or Agent if
                                                                                                           Wildwood Farms Joint Venture
                                                    designated by NRCS-CPA-09 Power of Attorney
                                                    signed by all members.
                                                    Joint Ventures without a EIN or Tax ID Number:         • Sally Bird, Member
                                                    Each member (or the Attorney-in-Fact) must sign
                                                    for their individual interest or share. An agent for
                                                                                                               Daniel Bird, Member
                                                    the JV, as authorized by a NRCS-CPA-09 Power           • Daniel Bird
                                                    of Attorney, may sign only for the JV’s interests.
                                                                                                               Sally Bird by Daniel Bird, Spouse
Corporation,         Authorized Officer or          Corporate Charter, Bylaws, or Agreement                •   Oak View Farms by Joe Johnson
Limited              Member                         Official Resolution by a Corporation’s
Partnership (LP)                                    Board of Directors
                                                                                                           •   By Joe Bird, President
Limited Liability                                   Official resolution by a Corporation’s Board of        •   By Joe Bird
Company (LLC)                                       Directors designating the authorized Agent.            •   Jeffrey Pine, Agent, for
Other Similar                                       Court Orders of Appointment
Legal Entities                                                                                                 Oak View Farms, Inc.
                     Other                          NRCS-CPA-09 POA signed by all officers or
                     (Attorney-in-Fact or Agent)    members of the entity                                  • By Jeff Bird, Agent
                                                    NRCS-CPA-09 POA signed by an officers or
                                                    member of the entity with authorization to
                                                    redelegate
                                                    Official resolution by a Corporation’s Board of
                                                    Directors designating the authorized Agent.
Estate,              Administrator                  Legal document signed or certified by an officer       • Estate of Jeffrey Pine
                                                    of the issuing court that the evidence is in full
Trust                Executor
                                                    force and effect such as:
                                                                                                               by Stan Grassland, Administrator
Conservatorship,     Trustee
                                                      • Orders of Appointment                              • By Joe Grant, Trustee
Guardianship         Guardian                         • Court approved certificate or letter of
                     Receiver                           administration                                     Note: For a bankruptcy or receivership, the
                     Conservator                                                                                 signature authority must include the
                                                    Trust Agreement
                                                                                                                 signatory’s name, capacity, title, and
                                                    Last Will and Testament that established Trust               the legal name of the bankrupt
                                                    Similar documents approved by the USDA Office                producer, entity or receivership.
                                                    of General Counsel (OGC) on a case basis.
                     Other                          NRCS-CPA-09 “Power of Attorney” signed by an
                     (Attorney-in-Fact or Agent)    authorized individual of the entity
For other business types or operations not listed, contact your local NRCS office for assistance.

             Remember, if the signature is not authorized, your application or program benefits may be denied!

    Information provided in this fact sheet does not supersede national operating procedures or regulations provided in 7 CFR § 718.
                                                                                                                                                          3
Example form NRCS-CPA-1155, “Conservation Plan or Schedule of Operations”:
Fact Sheet	                                                 Adjusted Gross Income

August 2003	                                                Provision
Overview                                                            Program, when the conservation easement is
The Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) provision                           signed.
of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act
of 2002 (Farm Bill) limits the eligibility of                       The AGI determination will remain in effect
certain individuals and entities for USDA                           for the life of the contract. However, any
commodity and conservation program                                  successor to a 2003-2007 contract will be
benefits.                                                           subject to a new AGI determination.

The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC)                              Exemptions
published 7 CFR Part 1400 subpart G entitled                        The following individuals and entities are
“Income Limits” in the Federal Register on                          exempt from the AGI provision:
June 4, 2003, which sets forth the criteria                         •	 Program participants who are reservist
applied in determining program benefit                                 military personnel called to active duty as
eligibility. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is                          the result of Operation Iraqi Freedom and
responsible for making AGI determinations.                             other similar military operations
                                                                    •	 Entities that are units of government: State,
How the AGI Provision Works                                            county, political subdivisions, agencies,
The AGI provision states that an individual or                         and recognized Indian tribes
entity is not eligible for program payments or
benefits if the individual’s or entity’s average                    Income Definition
adjusted gross income exceeds $2.5 million for                      Income from farming, ranching, or forestry
the three tax years immediately preceding the                       generally means income derived from
applicable year and less than 75 percent of the                     producing crops, livestock, or unfinished raw
average AGI is derived from farming,                                forestry products. In addition, CCC will
ranching, or forestry operations. The provision                     consider the following as income from
applies for the 2003 through 2007 crop, fiscal,                     farming, ranching, and forestry operations:
or program years.                                                   •	 Land sales (including easements and
                                                                        development rights) used for farming,
To receive AGI determinations, program                                  ranching, and forestry
participants may submit a completed form                            •	 Farm water right sales; rental income from
CCC-526, Average Adjusted Gross Income                                  land used for farming, ranching, and
Certification, or provide a statement from a                            forestry
certified public accountant or an attorney.                         •	 Federal agricultural or conservation
                                                                        program payments
An AGI determination for program benefit                            •	 Commercial hunting income from land
payment eligibility will be performed at the                            used for farming, ranching, and forestry
time the landowner or program participant                           •	 Farm equipment sales that are subject to
signs the conservation contract or, in the case                         depreciation expense on Internal Revenue
of the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection                                  Service (IRS) from 4835 or Schedule F


                The Natural Resources Conservation Service provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people
                              conserve, maintain, and improve our natural resources and environment.

                                            An Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer
Conservation Programs Covered                       For charitable organizations, the adjusted gross
The AGI applies to conservation programs            income would be based upon the unrelated
authorized under title XII of the Food Security     business taxable income reported to the IRS,
Act of 1985 (1985 Farm Bill) and title II of the    less any other income CCC determines to be
2002 Farm Bill, including cost-share                from commercial activities. Currently, that
assistance and easement and rental payments.        amount is specified on line 34 of the IRS form
This includes:                                      990-T.
•	 Conservation Corridor Demonstration
    Program                                         Commensurate Reduction
•	 Conservation Reserve Program                     Payments subject to the AGI limitation will be
•	 Conservation of Private Grazing Lands            reduced by an amount commensurate with the
    Program                                         direct and indirect interest in the entity,
•	 Conservation Security Program                    general partnership, and joint venture of each
•	 Desert Terminal Lakes                            individual or entity determined to be in excess
•	 Environmental Quality Incentives Program         of the AGI limitation.
•	 Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program
    (FRPP)                                          Confidentiality
•	 Grassland Reserve Program                        All information provided to FSA for the
•	 Grassroots Source Water Protection               purposes of determining compliance with the
    Program                                         AGI provision will remain confidential and not
•	 Great Lakes Basin Program for Soil               subject to any request submitted under the
    Erosion and Sediment Control                    Freedom of Information Act.
•	 Wetlands Reserve Program
•	 Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program              For More Information
                                                    If you need more information about the AGI
For FRPP, the landowner, not the cooperating        provision, please contact your local USDA
entity, is subject to AGI limitations because       Service Center, listed in the telephone book
the ultimate program beneficiary is the             under U.S. Department of Agriculture, or your
landowner.                                          local conservation district. Information,
                                                    including program specific fact sheets, also is
Payments to technical service providers and         available on the World Wide Web at:
contractors for services obtained under a           http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/farmbill/
program are not subject to AGI                      2002/
determinations. Services provided include
appraisals, surveys, closing costs, etc.                          Visit USDA on the Web at:
                                                                  http:www.usda.gov/farmbill
Entities
Non-government organizations are subject to         Note: This is not intended to be a definitive interpretation
the AGI provision if they are program               of farm legislation. Rather, it is preliminary and may
participants receiving program benefits. They       change as USDA develops implementing policies and
                                                    procedures. Please check back for updates.
are not subject to the AGI provision if they are
receiving payments for services rendered as
vendors.




Adjusted Gross Income Provision Fact Sheet    page 2	                                              August 2003

								
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