Exempt farm program staff from shutdowns, suggests Peterson

House Agriculture chairman Collin Peterson floated a bill on Wednesday to keep local USDA offices open during any future government shutdowns. “There’s no sense not to have them working,” he said. “Couldn’t agree more,” responded Sonny Perdue.

As it opens more operations, USDA relies on staff to work without pay

Federal meat inspectors are reporting to work without pay during the partial government shutdown, said an industry trade group on Wednesday, as the USDA called on 9,700 furloughed FSA employees to reopen offices nationwide today to serve farmers and ranchers.

Advocates urge Congress not to raise FSA loan limit

A coalition of 19 farm and advocacy groups and lenders wrote a letter to members of Congress Wednesday urging them not to raise the cap on loans issued by the Farm Service Agency.

Is the check in the mail?

With commodity prices and farm income in a slump, Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts called on USDA to send subsidy checks to growers due on their 2014 crops. "According to law, payments to eligible producers ... were to start on October 1 or as soon as practicable," said the Kansas Republican in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.