USDA Maintaining Inspections During Government Shutdown

With a government shutdown in effect, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has reduced activities and furloughed employees.

But there are enough workers to enforce laws and protect life and property.

For the first week of the shut down, only about 62 percent of employees will be working. They will keep up on activities like meat, poultry, and egg inspection services, grain inspections, food program benefits, and child nutrition programs like school lunches. Some farm payments will continue like the Market Facilitation Program Payments.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue says, “There may be a lapse in funding for the federal government, but that will not relieve USDA of its responsibilities for safeguarding life and property through the critical services we provide.”

However, there are many services that stop while the government remains shut down. Like new rural development loans, research and statistics reports, assistance for animal and plant pests and disease outbreaks, and after the first week, farm loans and some farm payments will also stop.

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