Central NC farmers say government shutdown is hurting them

North Carolina
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Kent Revels of Revels Farms in Fuquay-Varina has dedicated his life to farming, with 47 years in the industry. 

But he said 2018 was the worst year for him, losing about half a million dollars after Hurricane Florence. 

“We lost over half of our crop,” Revels said. 

Now, he and other farmers are dealing with the government shutdown. 

“They’re playing a game of basically Russian Roulette, and it affects the people out here,” Revels said. “It’s having a big effect on us being able to do things we need to do this time of the year, when we’re really not in the field doing much work.” 

With the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency offices closed, Revels said farmers are unable to turn in important paperwork and federal loans and payments, including disaster relief payments, are now on hold.

“We’re just like everybody else,” Revels said. “We don’t draw a paycheck every week like most people do, but still, every dollar that we get is important to us. We need it to pay bills like anybody else.”

Third-generation farmer Ricky Sears of nearby Sears Farms is also feeling the effects of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

“It’s just a trying time,” Sears said. “Everybody talks about it. We all talk about it when we’re together. But pretty much, there’s nothing we can do about it.”

They both hope leaders come to a solution soon. 

“I know most of the time that if I have a problem with somebody, I go to them, and we work it out,” Revels said. “I don’t know why they can’t do the same.”

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