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The partial re-opening of certain Farm Service Agency offices has been expanded to help farmers and ranchers impacted by the ongoing federal government shutdown.

Certain FSA offices, including the one in Mandan, have been providing limited services for existing loans since Jan. 17. Beginning Jan. 24, all offices will open with a longer list of services, including processing of new direct operating loans and loan guarantees and crop insurance program administration.

U.S. Department of Agriculture has temporarily recalled it’s 9,700 FSA employees nationwide to keep offices open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the week. These employees will be working without pay until the shutdown ends, at which time they will receive back pay.

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., who championed the re-opening applauded the move by the agency on Tuesday.

This full re-opening will last for two weeks. In subsequent weeks, offices will be open three days a week — Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Among services not available are new Conservation Reserve Program contracts, as well as farm ownership and farm storage loan programs. For a  list of available services, go online to https://www.fsa.usda.gov/help/shutdowninfo.

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Reach Jessica Holdman at 701-250-8261 or jessica.holdman@bismarcktribune.com

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Business Reporter