The partial government shutdown is having a profound and cascading impact on American farmers and ranchers. Because of this, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture is calling on Congress and the Administration to rapidly get to a settlement and end the shutdown as soon as possible.
The organization says in a news release that, “We know that some USDA employees are working on a limited number of programs, but we also know that all hands on deck are required to successfully direct every program American farmers, ranchers, and communities depend on.”
The organization says that includes successful implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill. Jeff Witte is the Secretary of Agriculture in New Mexico and the President of NASDA. He says “The impacts of this shutdown are real. Not only are farmers and ranchers unable to use a host of existing USDA programs they depend on, they also can’t use the programs now available in the recently enacted farm bill.”
Witte says if farmers can’t access those programs, the financial stress and challenges farmers are facing will only get worse. Many farmers depend on the Farm Service Agency for loans and need the shutdown solved as soon as possible.