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N.H. Farmers Meet With Senator Shaheen To Discuss Impacts From Government Shutdown

Robert Garrova for NHPR
Senator Jeanne Shaheen meets with farmers to talk about how they're feeling the affects of the partial government shutdown.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen met Friday with about a dozen representatives from New Hampshire's farming industry to discuss how the partial government shutdown is affecting them.  

It's not just federal workers who are starting to feel the effects of the shutdown.

Because of the lapse in funding, USDA Farm Service Agency programs that allow farmers to take out low-interest loans have been stalled.

Robert Wellington is with Agri-Mark dairy farms. He said trade tensions with China are the biggest worry for his industry.

"But in the meantime, we also need to have government programs that are helping farmers as a safety net,” Wellington said. “And that's what our problem is, is that they're not starting up. Every week you delay is a week further down the road that's going to be delayed."

The longer the shutdown goes, the more loan applications will be backed up. "And especially towards spring when they need to buy seed and fertilizer and other products to get going," said Denis Ward, president of the New Hampshire Farm bureau.

According to the Employment Security office, about 2,200 federal workers in New Hampshire are affected as the shutdown stretches into the New Year.