Johnson: Government Shutdown Affects Response to Ranchers in Snow Storm Aftermath

Our hearts go out to west river ranchers today as they climb out of the snow to discover startling losses to their herds. Anyone who’s raised animals knows the loss takes as much an emotional toll as it does a financial toll.

And to add insult to injury, the House GOP shutdown strategy – supported strongly by Congresswoman Kristi Noem – has closed all of South Dakota’s Farm Service Agency offices, so cattle producers have no where to turn for help to document their losses.

Senator Tim Johnson released the following statement today:


Washington, D.C. – 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.”


Do you think South Dakota ranchers who are looking for help in a time of disaster care about Kristi Noem’s political hostage-taking right now?  Republicans like Congresswoman Noem have to open the government right away. And they can with a simple vote.

Call Congresswoman Kristi Noem at 202-225-2801 today to demand a response.

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