U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that all Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices nationwide will soon reopen to provide additional administrative services to farmers and ranchers during the lapse in federal funding. Certain FSA offices have been providing limited services for existing loans and tax documents since January 17, and will continue to do so through January 23. Beginning January 24, however, all FSA offices will open and offer a longer list of transactions they will accommodate.
Additionally, Secretary Perdue announced that the deadline to apply for the Market Facilitation Program, which aids farmers harmed by unjustified retaliatory tariffs, has been extended to February 14. The original deadline had been January 15. Other program deadlines may be modified and will be announced as they are addressed.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has temporarily recalled all of the more than 9,700 FSA employees to keep offices open from 8 am to 4:30 pm weekdays beginning January 24. President Trump has already signed legislation that guarantees employees will receive all backpay missed during the lapse in funding.
For the first two full weeks under this operating plan (January 28 through February 1 and February 4 through February 8), FSA offices will be open Mondays through Fridays. In subsequent weeks, offices will be open three days a week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, if needed to provide the additional administrative services.
Tuesday January 22, 2019/ USDA/ United States.