Emergency Furlough Status & Washington Grown
I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
With the government shutdown Farm Service Agency employees around the state are in emergency furlough status. This will have a major impact on farmers and ranchers, as the shutdown puts FSA offices in a "holding pattern". Chris Bieker with the FSA Spokane office had this to say.
BIEKER: Due to the lapse in funding we are shutdown and at this time we don't know when we'll be back up. We hope that's soon. In addition to the budget not passing we also don't have a farm bill - programs that were authorized by the 2008 farm bill have also expired.
Until funding is restored to the federal government, CRP payments and DCP payments that would normally go out in October will not be processed. Offices will remain closed until Congress either passes a continuing resolution or a budget to restore funding.
The Washington Grown campaign is about food and the farmers that grow it. Ryan Holterhoff with the Washington State Potato Commission says that one of the hallmark pieces of the campaign - the TV show that they've been working on, is ready to launch October 6th on Northwest Cable News.
HOLTERHOFF: There are a total of 52 different segments - overall 13 different episodes of Washington Grown that give us a chance to tell 52 very unique and interesting stories of Washington ag or Washington food. An episode will take someone from that farm to their plate. Typically an episode will start out at a one of our local restaurants here throughout the state and then interview a farmer that is supplying whatever ingredient is highlighted at that restaurant. We'll also hit on some other fun and interesting industry issues and topics.
The first episode will be all about Washington grown potatoes. Once aired all Washington Grown episodes will be available on the Washington Grown website at wagrown.com.
That's Washington Ag Today.
I'm Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.