The Department of Agriculture to reopen FSA offices next week
RAPID CITY, S.D. – One of the largest markets in South Dakota is agriculture. Since the government shutdown began farmers and ranchers have struggled to make ends meet. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) has been closed since the beginning of the year.
The FSA allows farmers to cash checks and process loans. Ranching and farming are both expensive businesses that require heavy equipment. It costs thousands even millions to keep up with a ranch. Almost all farmers and ranchers take out loans.
With the FSA closed, loans could not be paid or taken out. This also created a problem with cashing checks. Often times farmers and ranchers receive checks that are made to both them and the FSA. With the FSA closed, farmers could not cash checks that required the FSA to co-sign.
The Department of Agriculture announced that it will reopen FSA offices throughout the country. They will process loans, tax documents, and trade aid payments. About 9,700 workers will be pulled to run the FSA offices nationwide.
The dates they are open are as follows:
Jan.28 through Feb.1 – Monday through Friday
Feb 4 through Feb. 8 – open three days a week
Agriculture Secretary, Sonny Perdue also extended the deadline for farmers to apply for aid payments. The new deadline is Feb.14.
Due to the shutdown, the FSA may not be able to process certain requests. If you have questions it is best to go directly to an FSA office to get detail on what can and cannot be processed at this time.