I used to think that what goes on in the White House doesn't directly impact me...I'm just a middle class citizen and can hide in my little corner of the world. I'll pay my taxes and I'll be left alone.
This frame of mind changed when I became a part of the Ag Community. Everything Washington does directly affects our livelihood. Whether it's new food and safety regulations, wildlife preservation or animal reintroduction or federal budget cuts.
Needless to say, the upcoming sequester is no exception.
Federal workers will be the first to feel the aftermath of the budget cuts and in an article published by DairyHerd Network earlier this week, it was stated that meat packing plants along with meat processing plants will face short-term shutdowns due to the expected sequester. No USDA inspectors = no meat processing and/or packing. Read about why inspectors are crucial, in this post written by Buzzard's Beat (I am loving her blog right now!)
Of course we won't feel the effects of this immediately so, you'll be able to go to your favorite restaurant in the next few weeks and still order that delicious rack of lamb or juicy hamburger, but it's coming down the pipes. There is no doubt about that.
If the budget isn't figured out before the end of March, the what should have been "temporary" fix may become a more long-lasting one which would mean that meat packing plants won't pack/process meat for an even longer period of time.
How does this affect me in my little corner of Colorado? Without meat packing plants, meat buyers are less likely to make purchases, this means we are less likely to sell our lambs this year, my neighbor won't sell his cattle and your free range chicken won't make it to your table.
I, along with many am hopeful it won't come to this, but you never know.
Obviously, my blog tries to bring information as it relates to the industry, but the article goes on to say that:
"Up to one-third of the USDA's 100,000 employees may be affected by furloughs. The USDA says the cuts would deny food aid to 600,000 pregnant women, new mothers and infants and also force closure of hundreds of Forest Service campgrounds, picnic areas and visitors' centers during the spring and summer."
For the full DailyHerd Article, please click here.
Another great article to give you an idea of the affects this will have, click here.