All Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices nationwide will reopen Thursday, Jan. 24, to provide additional administrative services to farmers and ranchers during the government shutdown, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Jan. 22.
Certain FSA offices provided limited services for existing loans and tax documents Jan. 17-23. Beginning Thursday, all FSA offices will open and offer a longer list of transactions, according to the news release.
Perdue also announced that the deadline to apply for the Market Facilitation Program, which aids farmers harmed by unjustified retaliatory tariffs, has been extended to Feb. 14. The original deadline was Jan. 15. Other program deadlines may be modified and will be announced as they are addressed, according to the release.
“At President Trump’s direction, we have been working to alleviate the effects of the lapse in federal funding as best we can, and we are happy to announce the reopening of FSA offices for certain services,” Perdue said. “The FSA provides vital support for farmers and ranchers and they count on those services being available. We want to offer as much assistance as possible until the partial government shutdown is resolved.”
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 p.m. weekdays beginning Jan. 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 (Jan. 28 through Feb. 1 and Feb. 4 through Feb. 8), FSA offices will be open Mondays through Fridays. In subsequent weeks, offices will be open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, if needed to provide the additional administrative services.
Agricultural producers who have business with the agency can contact their FSA service center to make an appointment.
Updates to available services and offices will be made on the FSA shutdown webpage (https://www.fsa.usda.gov/help/shutdowninfo). Programs managed by FSA that were re-authorized by the 2018 farm bill will be available at a later date.