U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Dec. 21, detailed which functions of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will remain available in the event of a lapse in government funding.
“There may be a lapse in funding for the federal government, but that will not relieve USDA of its responsibilities for safeguarding life and property through the critical services we provide,” said Secretary Perdue. “Our employees work hard every day to benefit our customers and the farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers who depend on our programs. During a shutdown, we will leverage our existing resources as best we can to continue to provide the top-notch service people expect.”
Some of the programs that will continue:
Meat, poultry, and processed egg inspection services.
Grain and other commodity inspection, weighing, grading, and IT support services funded by user fees.
Inspections for import and export activities to prevent the introduction and dissemination of pests into and out of the U.S, including inspections from Hawaii and Puerto Rico to the mainland.
Care for animals, plants and associated infrastructure to preserve agricultural research and to comply with the Wild Horses and Burros statute.
Eligible households will still receive monthly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for January.
The Child Nutrition (CN) Programs, including School Lunch, School Breakfast, Child and Adult Care Feeding, Summer Food Service and Special Milk will continue operations into February. Meal providers are paid on a reimbursement basis 30 days after the end of the service month. Carryover funding will be available during a lapse to support FY 2019 meal service.
Provision of conservation technical and financial assistance (such as Conservation Reserve Program, Environmental Quality Incentives Program, and easement programs). Some farm payments (including direct payments, market assistance loans, market facilitation payments, and disaster assistance programs) will be continued for the first week of a shutdown.