Fraudulent Letters & CRP Deadline
Fraudulent USDA letters have made headlines the last couple of weeks as producers across the East and Midwest reported receiving such letters from a person claiming to be a USDA procurement officer asking for personal and financial information. Judy Olson, Washington State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency reports that producers here in Washington State have started receiving these fraudulent letters.
OLSON: We have had at least one that has been documented. This is particularly disturbing to us because we do send out fairly regularly individual letters to producers that we do want them to respond to, and in the next week or so some very important letters are going to be received by approximately 200 people in this state with regard to their ability to meet the criteria to qualify for program payments. We’re trying to do everything we can to get the word out and alleviate confusion between the fraudulent letters and authentic letters that do need responses.
Remember, if you have a doubt, check it out.
OLSON: Exactly right. If they have a doubt, they should check it out with their local county service center. If for some reason they’re still concerned and they would rather call the state office in Spokane they may do that as well.
Farmers, ranchers, and landowners, if you haven’t done so already, now is the time to get cracking if you want to enroll eligible land in the Conservation Reserve Program. General sign-up ends Friday. Contact the Farm Service Agency county office where your farm records are maintained to enroll.