January 22, 2019

FSA Employees Plan To Report To Work On Thursday

 |  By: Anna-Lisa Laca

Several USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) county-level employees who work in multiple states told on Monday night that they are reporting back to work this Thursday, Jan. 24.

On Monday program staff (which is separate from the loan staff) was told by phone message to plan on being back in offices by the end of the week to offer “limited services.”

According to the notification received by one FSA employee, limited services include the following programs which are part of the 2014 Farm Bill. 

- Farm Loans, ARC, PLC, MALs, Sugar, MPP, LFP, ELAP, LIP, TAP, NAP, MFP

In addition, staff can work on AGIs, reconstitutions and other documentation that supports the above programs, as well as administrative functions essential to keeping the office open and helping customers.  

USDA officials have not responded to multiple requests for comments and clarification. 

The good news for young and beginning farmers is that this will allow the quicker release of income checks. One county executive director told that staff in the offices will be able to “track down” permission to release loan checks, even if loan staff are not called in to work. However, FSA will most likely not be able to process new loans, a situation that continues to prove challenging for farmers.

In addition, FSA loan staff are working today as part of the three days of limited service Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue authorized last week.