BISMARCK, N.D. - The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue has announced that many Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices will reopen temporarily in the coming days to perform limited functions for farmers and ranchers.
About 2,500 FSA employees across the country will open offices on Thursday, Jan. 17 and Friday, Jan. 18, in addition to Tuesday, Jan. 22 for normal business hours. The offices will be closed for the federal Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday, Jan. 21.
"I thank Secretary Perdue for doing all he can to minimize the impact of the government shutdown," Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. "This will give producers the ability to close out lingering items from last year and move forward with this year's preparations."
FSA staff members will be able to help producers with specific services, including:
Processing payments made on or before Dec. 31, 2018
Continuing expiring financing statements
Opening mail to identify priority items
Additionally, as an intermittent incidental duty, staff may release proceeds from the sale of a loan security by signing checks jointly payable to FSA that are brought to the county office by producers. Most other available services can be handled over the phone.
The North Dakota offices that will be open are: Bottineau, Carson, Cavalier, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Hillsboro, Jamestown, LaMoure, Langdon, Linton, Mandan, Minot, Mott, Park River, Selfridge, Towner and Williston.
BISMARCK - Building and strengthening connections is the theme of the 15th annual North Dakota Farmers Market & Growers Association (NDFMGA) & Local Foods Conference, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1 and 2, at the Baymont Inn, 2611 Old Red Trail, Mandan, N.D.
The two-day conference, sponsored by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and the NDFMGA, attracts growers, processors, marketers and others from across the state.
"The conference includes in-depth sessions on production practices, business development, marketing and farmer well-being," said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. "There will be plenty of opportunities for participants to network with each other."
The conference will kick off Friday, with a session on bridging the generational gap, followed by welcoming remarks by NDFMGA President Hero Barth. Commissioner Goehring will address the group in the afternoon and will announce the 2018 Hunger Free North Dakota Garden Project results, along with cumulative totals.
Nearly 20 break-out sessions are scheduled for the two days. Some of the topics include: communication and collaboration techniques, livestock grazing, fruit and vegetable diseases, meat processing, variety trials, soil health, farm-to-school and restaurant sales, community-supported agriculture, agritourism and much more.
The event is open to the public. Registration is $55 per person and includes all sessions and meals. A single-day registration is $35. Walk-ins are $10 more. Registration information is available at https://www.nd.gov/ndda/local-foods-conference-2019.
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