Claire McCaskill investigates Department of Agriculture staffing issues

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill

United States Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri has called for answers regarding insufficient staffing levels at US Department of Agriculture offices in Missouri.

McCaskill wrote to Natural Resources Conservation Service Acting Chief Leonard Jordan saying failure to hire and retain full-time staff during hard times puts producers and natural resources at risk. She added that Missouri producers deserve reliable access to USDA employees and their technical expertise.

McCaskill also wrote to Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce to tell him her office received information raising concerns about staffing levels at Missouri FSA offices. She noted that the staffing levels have the potential to undermine the delivery of FSA’s services to state farmers and ranchers.

Farmers and producers rely on USDA resources to assist in navigating federal programs and receiving technical assistance. McCaskill’s office reports access to those resources is important as farmers and ranchers face the ongoing trade war and work to recover from this summer’s drought.