FRESNO, Calif. — Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman has announced the availability of the Web site My.USDA.gov, which will allow individual users to customize the USDA home page for their unique needs.

“eGovernment is an important part of President Bush’s management agenda to improve the operations of government,” Veneman said. “My.USDA.gov is the latest installment of USDA’s efforts to provide customers with the latest information they need more quickly and easily.”

Veneman announced in January 2004 that USDA would put great focus on eGovernment to standardize processes and provide tools to unleash the fuller potential of information technology. The initiative began with a new Web page design to make it more powerful and improve access to USDA information and science.

The new look was followed by improved functionality. Features include Customer Statement, launched in March to put a range of USDA services and programs into a single report at the fingertips of agricultural producers. Farmers are able to view their contracts in various conservation programs, payments under commodity programs and information on loans and crop insurance.

Veneman noted the launch of My.USDA.gov features added functionality, allowing customers to find items of interest, by selecting Browse by Audience and as launched in January, Browse by Subject.

A customized page can be created in three easy steps at www.usda.gov by signing up for an ID.

Additional USDA eGovernment initiatives will continue to be announced throughout 2004. To begin the customization of the USDA home page, users can visit http://www.usda.gov and click on the login or new user button located on the left navigation bar.