Some local farmers see no income during government shutdown

Some local farmers see no income during government shutdown
OUTLOOK, Wash. -- As the shutdown grinds into its third week locals continue to suffer.

Among those that have had to put their livelihood on hold are many of our farmers in the Lower Valley.

Those who took out operating loans through the USDA's Farm Service Agency are now at a standstill.

"Farming, I've been here my whole life this is just always what I wanted to do," said Landon Schilperoort.

Landon Schilperoort's family has been farming in the Yakima valley since his great grandfather first arrived in 1910.

This past year he followed in their footsteps by purchasing his first farm land.

101 acres where he grows cherries and wheat.

Yet he never thought following his dream would leave him in his current situation.

"Zero money going in, zero money going out," said Schilperoort.

As a new farmer, Landon turned to the government's Farm Service Agency loan program for beginning farmers, getting money to purchase the land, his equipment and his day-to-day operating expenses.

Because both the FSA and his private bank have claims to collateral for his loans, his checks can't be endorsed so long as FSA has it's doors closed.

"I don't know how long this is going to last but until the Farm Service Agency opens it's doors, I literally cannot do anything," said Schilperoort.

He hasn't been able to contact the FSA or our elected officials that are supposed to represent us.

That means Landon has been sitting on more than one hundred thousand dollars in crop payment, that is needed to pay the bills and loans.

"First I guess it's disbelief, because no one ever thinks that when the government does something it will affect them directly, and this is the first time in my life that I got affected in every aspect of my life during this shutdown. I'm speechless almost, I can't believe all these things that have happened, it's just unthinkable," said Schilperoort.

Landon wasn't able to pay his power bill to Pacific Power, and he says they told him many farmers in the area are in the same situation.