USDA to Reopen FSA Offices for Additional Services During Government Shutdown

 

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that all Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices nationwide will soon reopen to provide additional administrative services to farmers and ranchers during the lapse in federal funding.  Certain FSA offices have been providing limited services for existing loans and tax documents since January 17, and will continue to do so through January 23.  Beginning January 24, however, all FSA offices will open and offer a longer list of transactions they will accommodate.

Additionally, Secretary Perdue announced that the deadline to apply for the Market Facilitation Program, which aids farmers harmed by unjustified retaliatory tariffs, has been extended to February 14.  The original deadline had been January 15.  Other program deadlines may be modified and will be announced as they are addressed.

“At President Trump’s direction, we have been working to alleviate the effects of the lapse in federal funding as best we can, and we are happy to announce the reopening of FSA offices for certain services,” Perdue said.  “The FSA provides vital support for farmers and ranchers and they count on those services being available.  We want to offer as much assistance as possible until the partial government shutdown is resolved.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has temporarily recalled all of the more than 9,700 FSA employees to keep offices open from 8 am to 4:30 pm weekdays beginning January 24.  President Trump has already signed legislation that guarantees employees will receive all backpay missed during the lapse in funding.

For the first two full weeks under this operating plan (January 28 through February 1 and February 4 through February 8), FSA offices will be open Mondays through Fridays.  In subsequent weeks, offices will be open three days a week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays if needed to provide the additional administrative services.

Agricultural producers who have business with the agency can contact their FSA service center to make an appointment.

FSA can provide these administrative services, which are critical for farmers and ranchers, because failure to perform these services would harm funded programs.  FSA staff will work on the following transactions:

  • Market Facilitation Program.
  • Marketing Assistance Loans.
  • Release of collateral warehouse receipts.
  • Direct and Guaranteed Farm Operating Loans, and Emergency Loans.
  • Service existing Conservation Reserve Program contracts.
  • Sugar Price Support Loans.
  • Dairy Margin Protection Program.
  • Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage.
  • Livestock Forage Disaster.
  • Emergency Assistance Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish Program.
  • Livestock Indemnity Program.
  • Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.
  • Tree Assistance Program.
  • Remaining Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program payments for applications already processed.

Transactions that will not be available include, but are not limited to:

  • New Conservation Reserve Program contracts.
  • New Direct and Guaranteed Farm Ownership Loans.
  • Farm Storage Facility Loan Program.
  • New or in-process Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program applications.
  • Emergency Conservation Program.
  • Emergency Forest Rehabilitation Program.
  • Biomass Crop Assistance Program.
  • Grassroots Source Water Protection Program.

With the Office of Management and Budget, USDA reviewed all of its funding accounts that are not impacted by the lapse in appropriation. We further refined this list to include programs where the suspension of the activity associated with these accounts would significantly damage or prevent the execution of the terms of the underling statutory provision. As a result of this review, USDA was able to except more employees. Those accounts that are not impacted by the lapse in appropriation include mandatory, multiyear and no year discretionary funding including FY 2018 Farm Bill activities.

Updates to available services and offices will be made during the lapse in federal funding on the FSA shutdown webpage.  Programs managed by FSA that were re-authorized by the 2018 farm bill will be available at a later date yet to be determined.

 

Source: USDA

WIBW Radio/KAN Podcast: Western Farm Show Manager Ken Dean Previews The Upcoming Show Feb 22-24

 

Ken Dean, Western Farm Show manager, joined us on Tuesday’s Ag Issues program.  The 58th annual Western Farm Show will take place February 22-24 at the American Royal Complex in Kansas City, Missouri. The show hours are from 9 am – 5 pm on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22-23 and 9 am – 4 pm on Sunday, Feb. 24. Adult tickets are $10 daily. Children ages 12 and under are free. If you would like a $3 off coupon for a ticket, click here.

 

Climatologist Mary Knapp Talks About Recent Cold Conditions and Gives Winter Outlook

Climatologist Mary Knapp with the Weather Data Library at the Kansas State University Department of Agronomy was the guest on Monday’s Ag Issues program on 580 WIBW.  Knapp gave a comparison of recent cold weather conditions to historic readings. Knapp also talked about the winter outlook, and talked about how the conditions are faring for winter wheat in Kansas.

Miss Rodeo Kansas Coronation Attracts Vast Friendship Gathering To Abilene

A crowd of nearly 350 rodeo royalty fans gathered for the official Miss Rodeo Kansas Coronation at Abilene.

A dozen queens representing rodeo associations from throughout the state presented a choreographed opening song dance routine at the Miss Rodeo Kansas Coronation in Abilene. (Amber Thompson photography)

A Mister Rodeo Competition vague semblance to a rodeo queen pageant was featured at the Miss Rodeo Kansas Coronation in Abilene. (Amber Thompson photography)

Certainly, the evening was a most royal affair. Highlight of course was 2018 Miss Rodeo Kansas Mikhayla DeMott formally crowning 2019 Miss Rodeo Kansas Brooke Wallace (MRK ’19).

A social hour opened the evening as those in attendance could bid on diverse Western donations in the silent auction.

Fried chicken supper with all the country trimmings was served by Brookville Hotel.

A dozen queens representing rodeo associations from throughout the state presented a choreographed opening most enjoyable song dance routine.

Costumed and grease painted Stormin’ Norman (Ty Stewart), rodeo funnyman and barrel man, was master of ceremonies with antics throughout the evening.

A Mister Rodeo Competition vague semblance to a rodeo queen pageant kept the crowd entertained. Stormin’ Norman, John Aylward, Darryl Blocker and J.T. Gehling were the contestants. Blocker received the title token in the cowboy friendly rivalry also serving as a MRK ’19 fund raiser.

Seth Lauer of Abilene was honored by MRK ’19 Brooke Wallace for congenial support in her lifetime and royalty pageants.

Champion auctioneer Ethan Schuette of Open Range Sales Company LLC conducted the live benefit auction with a most unique offering.

Morgan Poole and Tracy Schmitz entertained with live music for high bidder Darryl Blocker’s first dance with MRK ’19 Brooke Wallace.

“I am still on top of the world from my coronation celebration. I appreciate everybody coming and all of your support,” Brooke said.

“It has been a whirlwind since, and I love every second of it. Please follow all of my adventures on my Instagram and Facebook pages,” she welcomed.

Miss Rodeo Kansas 2018 Mikhayla DeMott formally crowned Brooke Wallace as 2019 Miss Rodeo Kansas at coronation ceremonies in Abilene. (Amber Thompson photography)

 

With 2019 Miss Rodeo Kansas Brooke Wallace, rodeo funnyman Stormin’ Norman, was master of ceremonies and Col. Ethan Schuette served as fundraiser auctioneer at the Miss Rodeo Kansas Coronation in Abilene. (Amber Thompson photography)

Seth Lauer of Abilene was honored by 2019 Miss Rodeo Kansas Brooke Wallace for congenial support in her lifetime and royalty pageants at the Miss Rodeo Kansas Coronation in Abilene. (Amber Thompson photography)

 

 

 

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Clinician Demonstrates Calm Efficient Horse Training Techniques

It just takes 33 minutes to make an untrained horse into one that’ll ride around, even do tricks with her.

More than 100 spectators gathered to watch and listen as Scott Daily did just that at the Topeka Farm Show.

The Arkansas City trainer-clinician was working with a “barely halter broke” two-year-old sorrel filly owned by Diamond L Ranch of Council Grove.

“She’s sired by their top performance stallion Ranger Cookie, so we know there’s potential here,” Daily credited.

Eight 12-foot panels were fashioned into a round pen for working the filly in a tie-halter with a long rope.

Moving her around the pen at a walk then trot, Daily evaluated, “The filly’s a little nervous, not moving very freely. She wants to stay by her buddy over there, but she’ll figure out what we’re expecting.”

Verbally smooching and clicking persuasively to his trainee, Daily soon had the filly going at all three gaits both directions.

Scott Daily, Arkansas City trainer, visited before presenting a horsemanship clinic at the Topeka Farm Show.

“What’s done one side must be the same on the other,” he said. “She did need a little motivation.”

The filly was brought in beside the trainer as he put the rope over her back and hips. “Very good,” he complimented. “She needs to get the feel of things and know we’re not going to hurt her.”

Again working from both sides, Daily critiqued, “The filly’s more cautious on her right side, but that’ll come, too.”

Moving the rope around her middle, the trainer tightened it some simulating a saddle girth.

Then, he moved the rope back into her flanks causing a little fright and kick. “It’s okay, there we go,” Daily calmed the filly.

The young mare’s head was pulled towards her heart girth from both sides to get more turn and flex.

“Good job. She’s a fast learner,” he credited.

Saddle pad was taken down from the rail and moved around the mare’s head, neck and shoulders.

Soon, Daily had the pad on her back without any negative response as it was moved around.

“She’s ready for the saddle,” he said slowly putting it over his arm to let her see and smell.

Gently, the saddle was placed on the filly’s back, then taken off, back on and shuffled around. Daily again worked from both sides of the mare with still a bit more nervousness on the right.

Girth of the saddle was slowly pulled up on the filly as she flinched and moved away. “I don’t want it too tight, but it has to be snug, stay put when she goes to move,” Daily said.

The back cinch was loosely fastened as he pressured the saddle from side to side on her back.

Again, the filly was circled in the pen both directions changing gaits which made her kick up at the canter. “It’s okay. Nothing’s going to hurt you,” Daily pacified.

Satisfied with the filly’s progress, the trainer brought her in beside himself and put his foot in the left stirrup.

First with a little weight on her back, Daily stepped off, then up again stretching his chest over her body. The maneuver was repeated on the right side with some caution.

In just a few minutes, Scott Daily had a two-year-old filly riding nicely during a training presentation.

From the left mounting side, Daily stepped up into the saddle, put his weight down, and immediately dismounted.

Tying the lead rope around her neck as reins, Daily tucked the excess into his belt loops.

He mounted into the saddle, slowly positioning himself securely as possible. The mare adjusted her legs and body to the weight.

Her head was pulled into his leg so her feet moved some and she became more used to the rider.

Repeating the action both ways several times, Daily soon had the mare walking carefully in small circles.

“She’s pretty tight,” Daily said as he asked for more freedom of movement. It wasn’t long until the filly was circling the pen.

“We’re ready for more speed,” he insisted prodding her into a trot.

“Very good, very nice,” credited Daily, nudging the mare into a lope.

Before long, the trainer tapped her hip with the lead shank to increase speed. Changing directions a couple of times, Daily continued to lope several circles.

Riding into the center of the pen, the horseman took his lariat from the saddle and rubbed her with it. He formed a loop with his rope and swung it around the filly’s head and body.

“She really catches on fast,” credited Daily, replacing the lariat to his saddle and moving to the rail.

He got his bullwhip, started moving it around the mare and before long snapping softly. Only a bit bright eyed, the mare remained fairly relaxed as Daily loudly popped the whip several times.

“Very good. I’m proud of her,” he complimented.

Standing up in the saddle on the mare’s back, Daily removed his hat, nodded: “Thank you Topeka.”

It was 33 minutes start to finish.

Marshall: No End in Sight on Government Shutdown

 

Kansas First District Congressman Dr. Roger Marshall told us he sees no end in sight to the partial government shutdown, with both sides digging in over funding for the border wall.  Marshall, who serves on the House Ag Committee,  said the shutdown is delaying implementation of the new Farm Bill.  He was glad Secretary Perdue found a way to reopen many FSA offices, even for a few days.

 

AG Derek Schmidt Taps Former Pratt County Sheriff For Cattle Theft Investigations Unit

(Photo Courtesy of Pratt Tribune)

 

TOPEKA – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today announced that he has chosen former Pratt County Sheriff Vernon Chinn to join his office’s Livestock/Brand Investigation Unit.

“Vernon has an incredible resume that spans more than two decades in Kansas law enforcement, and I’m delighted he has agreed to continue his contributions to public safety by joining our team,” Schmidt said. “His knowledge and experience will be a strong addition to the attorney general’s office as we continue investigating and prosecuting cases of cattle theft across Kansas.”

Chinn is a U.S. Army veteran who served a one year combat tour in Vietnam from 1969-1970. After serving nine years as a patrol deputy in the Pratt County Sheriff’s Office, he was elected Pratt County Sheriff in 2000. As sheriff, Chinn was involved in many critical incidents, including serving as the director of all law enforcement operations for a month following the devastating EF-5 tornado that hit Greensburg in 2007. His fellow sheriffs recognized his leadership in that role by naming him Sheriff of the Year. Chinn was later elected president of the Kansas Sheriff’s Association in 2010 and served on the executive board from 2006 to 2012. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy, class #236.

Schmidt formed the Livestock/Brand Investigation Unit in 2014 in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Agriculture. It helps local law enforcement investigate cattle theft and related crimes. Chinn began his position as a special agent in the unit on January 10.

 

Source: Office of the Kansas Attorney General