Between the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, and a variety of commodity specific programs, this can be a confusing time for producers across the Northwest. And with coronavirus closing many locations and forcing social distancing at other locations, farmers can feel like they are on their own. But the FSA is reminding growers that even if your local office is closed, they are still there to help.
Josh Hanning, a Program Expert with the Oregon FSA, said while most farmers like to conduct business face-to-face, that can’t always take place in a COVID-19 world. To offset that, Hanning said they have many ways to stay to your local office connected, while staying distant.
“Whether that’s via e-mail, via phone, looking at the newsletters, make sure you’ve signed up for gov delivery, we even have texts, we can text you when there are updates in our offices now. So, make sure you’re all part of that. We want to get the word out as much as possible.”
As Oregon looks to slowly reopen, producers may wonder if when their local FSA office will be available to offer assistance. Barry Bushue, Oregon FSA director, said counties that transition to Phase One will be have their offices open, but the state will limit each office to ten people max, as long as social distancing protocols can be followed.
“And those employees will be, as they open up, will be asked to wear facemasks when they are closer than six feet and they will be asked to not bring in producers, yet.”
Here are the links for the FSA offices across the Northwest:
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