Government Shutdown Impacts Kentucky Farmers

By: Brett Baldeck Email
By: Brett Baldeck Email

WARREN / EDMONSON COUNTY, Ky. (WBKO) - The government shutdown is impacting rural farmers across the Commonwealth. The USDA Farm Service Agency, or FSA, is closed. It's a service used by farmers for cost sharing and market information.

"Just this past week I was involved with the conservation office in leasing a drill and getting seed planted. We sold alfalfa last week, and I couldn't do that this week because they are all shutdown," says Ronnie Hargett.

As a second generation farmer, Hargett has never experienced something like this. While the closure hasn't hurt his farm, young farmers who rely on government startup loans are being left high and dry.

"I spoke even with one earlier that has his crop out and had his workers out in the field and he went to get some of this money he has already set aside as a loan to him at a low interest and only to find out that the doors were shut," says Hargett.

Farms of a different kind are also being impacted. Double J Stables has the only head trail that leads to Mammoth Cave National Park.

"We rely totally on the horseback riders and the campers to come in and patronize us. With the trails closed we don't get the campers, we don't get hikers to come in," says Dave Lombardi.

Fall break is supposed to be the busiest time of year for the area, but the camp grounds are a ghost town.

"It breaks my heart. It makes me angry, but there is nothing we can do about it. We have made several phone calls trying to get to higher up and we can't get to the next level. Nobody wants to listen," says Lombardi.

Lombardi hopes lawmakers quickly work together for americans across the country.

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