Following the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s decision to reopen several Farm Service Agency offices across the country, Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Rodd Moesel shared with FOX 25 News in Oklahoma City on Jan. 18 how the government shutdown – and the closure of FSA offices – has impacted farmers and ranchers in Oklahoma.
“Imagine you’re a young farmer with a wife and a couple of kids and you’re holding a $15,000 to $30,000 check for your crops and you know you have bills to pay and money in hand but can’t turn the check into money to use to pay bills.” Moesel said. “That is very frustrating.”
The USDA reopened 47 FSA offices across Oklahoma to assist farmers with limited services on Jan. 18 and 19. The offices also will reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 22.
The government shutdown also is interfering with farmers’ ability to plan for the next season, which Moesel said impacts more than just agricultural producers.
“Our state is all woven together,” he said. “Those of us in the city, we are able to do the things we do in the city because farmers are there to grow the crops and food. We can depend on that being there in grocery store and in restaurants. If those lines of supply ever get bogged down, the cities will fall apart. We all, depend on one another.”