The partial shutdown of the federal government has impacted U.S. Department of Agriculture offices in Kentucky.
One victim of the government shutdown is the USDA Rural Development program. Some of the services in that program include mortgage loans and grants to individuals in rural areas; investment in rural broadband and electric infrastructure; improved roads and ports; funding for water and wastewater treatment facilities.
Here’s part of the recorded message from a call today to the USDA Rural Development Kentucky State office:
“We are on furlough due to the lapse in federal government funding. Please leave a voicemail or email. Please note that we do not have access to email or voicemail due to the current lapse in funding. We look forward to returning your message once funding has been restored.”
The USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service in Kentucky is also closed. One function of the office is to provide reports on crop yields in Kentucky. Regional Director David Knopf told WKU Public Radio in an email on Jan. 5 that the crop reports are currently postponed or cancelled.
Knopf said to the best of his knowledge, no farm programs will be impacted in the next several weeks as a result of no statistics. He said commodity markets are left without the information, but will continue to trade on the information they use regularly, like weather.
"I hope we get open soon to continue the work," said Knopf.
Kentucky has also been impacted by the government shutdown's halting of funds to national parks. Mammoth Cave National Park has been closed. A recorded message at the Kentucky park says,"Due to the lapse of appropriations and the subsequent partial shutdown of the federal government, Mammoth Cave National Park will not operate cave tours, provide visitor services or operate the Green River Ferry during the government shutdown. Park roads, lookouts and trails will remain accessible to visitors, but emergency and rescue services will be limited."