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Farm Service Agency closed due to federal shutdown

Photos by Tom Rivers: The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s office at 446 West Ave., Albion, is closed today due to the federal budget shutdown. The office includes the Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 January 2018 at 1:53 pm

The federal budget shutdown has closed the U.S. Department of Agriculture service office at 446 West Ave.

There is a message taped to the door. “This U.S. Department of Agriculture office is currently closed, due to the lapse in federal government funding. The office will reopen once Congress restores funding.”

The office includes staff from the Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Heath Eisele, District Conservationist for the NRCS in Genesee, Orleans & Niagara Counties, sent an email to NRCS customers today.

“We understand the uncertainty that the current circumstances present for Americans that USDA serves every day, as well as our many partners around the country,” Eisele wrote. “Effective today, except for critical activities that protect life and property (i.e. work on high-hazard dams and preserving plants at PMCS), many NRCS staff will be furloughed pending reinstatement of funding by Congress. These staff will not be available by phone or email, and cannot carry out work for the Agency, until funding is restored.”

Eisele is among the NRCS staff on furlough. He said in an email to NRCS customers that many NRCS services and payments will be delayed or interrupted including grants and agreements.

The Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge also seems to be closed. No one answered the phone today. The refuge’s social media accounts also won’t be updated today except for a message from the refuge stating the lack of new social media posts is due to the federal shutdown.

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