U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) today issued the following statement on the effects of the federal government shutdown on USDA's ability to respond to ranchers in the aftermath of this weekend's major snowstorm.
"While total losses are still being determined, this major blizzard has killed huge numbers of livestock across western South Dakota. Exacerbating these losses is the fact that the government shutdown has shuttered USDA's Farm Service Agency's (FSA) offices across the state. As a result, producers don't even have anyone to contact at USDA for assistance in documenting losses.
The closure of FSA offices is another demonstration of the real impact the government shutdown is having on South Dakotans. Like the snow storm, the government shutdown is causing major disruptions in people's lives and every day business.
While snowstorms happen, government shutdowns are unnatural events. The House needs to pass a clean Continuing Resolution not just for the sake of South Dakota's ranchers, but for the good of the country."