Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says his agency is working with the Office of Management and Budget to find ways to reduce the impact of the government shutdown on farmers and ranchers. Farm Service Agency offices across the country are closed and it’s causing several challenges for producers. “We’re working with OMB to see if we can find some relief in that area,” Perdue says on Fox Business. “We’re hoping to work up some strategies very soon to get these offices back open soon.” In the meantime, the Food and Drug Administration is planning to expand its daily food safety work amid the continuing lapse in funding. High-risk food safety inspections could start up again as soon as today. Also, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service remains on the job. Perdue also tells Fox Business that the agency’s food safety work hasn’t been disrupted at all. “We’re not shortcutting any type of food safety issues there at USDA in our meat processing,” he says. States are also hustling to get Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program February benefits out to recipients starting this week, which Politico says is a big logistical and communications undertaking.
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