USDA to Temporarily Reopen FSA Offices during Government Shutdown
Offices across the country will be open Thursday, Friday, and the following Tuesday
FARGO, N.D. — For some producers, financial support from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is essential towards keeping their farms afloat.
“They need those funds if they’re going to farm this next year and if you’re delaying processing of loans all the way into May or June or July, creditors are sitting on the sidelines maybe not wanting to take a chance or risk it,” said North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.
Since the support is key towards keeping the agricultural economy stable, Ag Secretary Sonny Purdue decided to reopen thousands of FSA offices across the country to help farmers stay in good financial standing.
“We have producers that have made their payments in a timely fashion in 2018, and we want to make sure that gets entered in the IRS tax database and that we want to make sure they get credit for that interest that they applied for their loans or their debts in 2018,” Brad Thykeson, the Executive Director of the North Dakota FSA, said.
On Thursday, January 17, Friday, January 18, and Tuesday, January 22, farmers can come in to FSA offices to ensure their loan payments are processed.
The offices will not be open Monday due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Some call this a major victory for producers across the country.
“We appreciate this help from Secretary Purdue for farmers with existing FSA Direct Loans after we made the request last week. We’re going to continue to work to get help as well with the guaranteed loans as well as the marketing loans for our farmers,” said Senator John Hoeven (R-ND).
Even with the shutdown still in full force, some say this brief window gives farmers to achieve a timely piece of mind heading into the spring.
“They’re sitting there with a check in hand they can’t even put in the bank to pay their loans to pay off their creditors, that just causes more anguish and heartache for them. I think it’s good news for North Dakota, and good news for the rest of the nation,” Goehring said.
The following FSA offices will be temporarily reopened on January 17, 18, and 22:
Minnesota: Detroit Lakes, Bemidji, Mankato, Moorhead, Preston, Mora, Hallock, Marshall, Warren, Glencoe, Little Falls, Worthington, Rochester, Thief River Falls, Redwood Falls, Roseau, Waite Park, Benson, Fergus Falls, Crookston
North Dakota: Bottineau, Carson, Cavalier, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Hillsboro, Jamestown, LaMoure, Langdon, Linton, Mandan, Minot, Mott, Park River, Selfridge, Towner, Williston