Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Wednesday that many Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices will reopen temporarily in the coming days to perform certain limited services for farmers and ranchers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has recalled about 2,500 FSA employees to open offices on Thursday, January 17 and Friday, January 18, in addition to Tuesday, January 22, during normal business hours. The offices will be closed for the federal Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday, January 21.In almost half of FSA locations, FSA staff will be available to assist agricultural producers with existing farm loans and to ensure the agency provides 1099 tax documents to borrowers by the Internal Revenue Service’s deadline.“Until Congress sends President Trump an appropriations bill in the form that he will sign, we are doing our best to minimize the impact of the partial federal funding lapse on America’s agricultural producers,” Perdue said. “We are bringing back part of our FSA team to help producers with existing farm loans. Meanwhile, we continue to examine our legal authorities to ensure we are providing services to our customers to the greatest extent possible during the shutdown.”The locations in Ohio that will be open Jan. 17, 18 and 22 include:Bellefontaine Service Center 338 County Road 11, Bellefontaine, OH 43311 (937) 592-8896Celina Service Center 220 W. Livingston Street, Suite 2, Celina, Ohio 45822 (419) 586-3149Defiance Service Center 06879 Evansport Road, Suite D, Defiance, Ohio 43512 (419) 782-4781Eaton Service Center 1655 N Barron Street, Eaton Center, Eaton, OH 45320 (937) 456-4211Georgetown Service Center 702 S Main Street, Georgetown, OH 45121 (937) 378-6173Jackson Service Center 2026 Fairgreens Road, Jackson, OH 45640 (740) 286-1402New Philadelphia Service Center 277 Canal Avenue SE, Suite A, New Philadelphia, OH 44663 (330) 339-4791Norwalk Service Center 8 Fair Road, Norwalk, OH 44857 (419) 668-4113Ottawa Service Center 1800 N. Perry Street, Ottawa, Ohio 45875 (419) 523-4871Salem Service Center 1834 S. Lincoln Avenue, Suite A, Salem, OH 44460 (330) 424-5525Tiffin Service Center 3140 S State Route 100, Suite C, Tiffin, OH 44883 (419) 447-7071Washington Court House Service Center 1415 US 22 SW, Suite 700, Washington Courthouse, OH 43160 (740) 335-0890Xenia Service Center 1363 Burnett Drive, Xenia, OH 45385 (937) 372-4477Zanesville Service Center 225 Underwood Street, Suite 300, Zanesville, OH 43701 (740) 454-2824Staff will be helping with certain programs, including:Processing payments made on or before December 31, 2018.Continuing expiring financing statements.Opening mail to identify priority items.Additionally, as an intermittent incidental duty, staff may release proceeds from the sale of loan security by signing checks jointly payable to FSA that are brought to the county office by producers.While staff are available in person during this three-day window, most available services can be handled over the phone. Producers can begin contacting staff on Thursday, Jan 17.Reopened FSA offices will only be able to provide the specifically identified services while open during this limited time. Services that will not be available include, but are not limited to:New direct or facility loans.New Farm loan guarantees.New marketing assistance loans.New applications for Market Facilitation Program (MFP).Certification of 2018 production for MFP payments.Dairy Margin Protection Program.Disaster assistance programs, such as:Livestock Indemnity Program.Emergency Conservation Program.Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program.Livestock Forage Disaster Program.Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish.While January 15, 2019 had been the original deadline for producers to apply for MFP, farmers have been unable to apply since December 28, 2018, when FSA offices closed because of the lapse in federal funding. Secretary Perdue has extended the MFP application deadline for a period of time equal to the number of business days FSA offices end up being closed, once the government shutdown ends. These announced days of limited staff availability during the shutdown will not constitute days open in calculating the extension. Producers who already applied for MFP and certified their 2018 production by December 28, 2018 should have already received their payments.
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