Local FSA, NRCS staff reopen Madison offices
By CHUCK CLEMENT, Staff Reporter
The federally-supported programs managed by the Lake County offices of the Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service are back up and running with the end of the federal government shutdown.|
According to Zachary Neises, the FSA county executive director, his staff had returned to their Madison offices Thursday and were ready to help any area ag producers with the agency's programs.
"We're going through our start-up procedures, but our offices are open and we're trying to get the word out about that to our producers," Neises said.
Neises said that each of the FSA staff members would probably have a certain amount of backlogged work to complete but they were ready to assist clients right away.
He added that the staff were busy with several current projects that included managing the agency's accounts after the end of the fiscal year, processing commodity or marketing loans, and certifying production acres for farmers.
"We'll have those programs to take care of during the coming weeks," Neises said.
Lynzee Planting, the NRCS's district conservation officer, also reported that her offices were open since 8 a.m. Thursday to provide assistance for clients.
Planting said the NRCS staff were "constantly taking enrollment applications" for the agency's programs. The NRCS works with clients who are interested in joining programs that include the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).
The local NRCS offices also work with the Lake County Conservation District which supports local environmental and natural resource programs.
Both Planting and Neises said ag producers would find that the main phone number for their offices, 256-6674, would provide the best avenue for ag producers and clients to contact their agencies.