NORTH CAROLINA -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday that they will be temporarily be opening Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices in coming days to help farmers with “limited services.”
- The USDA is not funded as part of the federal government shutdown, which has become the longest in U.S. History.
- The USDA said in a press release they will be opening “almost half” of the FSA locations across the country Thursday, Friday, as well as Tuesday of next week.
- NC Farmers have already struggled through several difficult years, brought about in part by a series of major storms, low commodity prices, and the ongoing trade fight.
The USDA is not funded as part of the federal government shutdown, which has become the longest in U.S. History. As a result, federal farming offices that help with loans and federal farm aid are closed. Crop forecasts have been delayed.
The USDA said in a press release they will be opening “almost half” of the FSA locations across the country Thursday, Friday, as well as Tuesday of next week. To do so, they will recall roughly 2,500 furloughed employees.
The FSA staff will be available to assist farmers with existing loans, tax documents, and processing payments made on or before Dec. 31, 2018.
In North Carolina, the USDA lists the following offices as set to temporarily open:
- Clinton Service Center, 80 County Complex Rd., Suite 100, Clinton, NC 28328, (910) 592-4791
- Hendersonville Service Center, 61 Triple Springs Rd., Hendersonville, NC 28792, (828) 693-1406
- Hertford Service Center, 512 South Church St., Hertford, NC 27944, (252) 426-5802
- Kenansville Service Center, 165 Agriculture Dr., Suite A, Kenansville, NC 28349, (910) 296-2193
- Statesville Service Center, 444 Bristol Dr., Statesville, NC 28677, (704) 872-5061
- Washington Service Center, 155-B Airport Rd., Washington, NC 27889, (252) 946-1076
Farmers in the Tar Heel state have already struggled through several difficult years, brought about in part by a series of major storms, low commodity prices, and the ongoing trade fight. Now the shutdown has complicated things further.
Still, Republican Congressman David Rouzer, whose southeastern North Carolina district is home to many farms, says constituents he has heard from are standing behind the president.
"The overwhelming number of emails we receive, text messages that I personally receive, want us to be very strong in supporting the president in this battle. They recognized border security is absolutely critical,” Rouzer said. “Some are feeling a little pinch, particularly those in the arena that have interaction with the government, rely on government resources.”
Beyond the farmers, roughly 800,000 federal workers have already missed one paycheck as a result of the federal government shutdown, and are on track to miss another if the funding impasse is not resolved.
On Wednesday, the President signed legislation passed by congress requiring back pay for federal workers once the shutdown is over.