Boozman, Ricketts ask USDA AMS employees to be deemed essential

A group of Republican Senators have asked the USDA to declare its employees with the Agricultural Marketing Service News Department essential during government shutdowns.

In a letter to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack Thursday, the Senators say the designation would guarantee that the ag industry has access to vital market information that impacts the supply chain, market trends, pricing strategies and exports.

The letter was led by Nebraska’s Pete Ricketts, and signed by Ranking Member of the Senate Ag Committee John Boozman (AR), Deb Fischer (NE), Joni Ernst (IA), Chuck Grassley (IA), and Roger Marshall (KS).

Before the letter was released, Vilsack told Brownfield that essential employees are defined as people who are focused on protecting life and property.

During a call with reporters on Wednesday, Ricketts said it’s critical that the flow of information continues.

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