U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Jan. 16 that many Farm Service Agency offices will reopen temporarily in the coming days to perform certain limited services for farmers and ranchers.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recalled about 2,500 FSA employees to open offices on Jan. 17, Jan. 18 and Jan. 22, during normal business hours, including the Baker Service Center, 541-523-7121, and the Harney County Service Center, 541-573-6446.

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.

Staff members will be available to help producers with specific services, including processing payments made on or before Dec. 31, continuing expiring financing statements and 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.

Additionally, farmers who have loan deadlines during the lapse in funding do not need to make payments until the government shutdown ends.

Reopened FSA offices will only be able to provide the specifically identified services while open during this limited time.

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