USDA reminds you of your rights

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Hello Again,

Are you superstitious? Then Friday the 13th may not be a day that you look forward to.

I have a past co-worker and friend who wants nothing to do with the number 13. I can actually diagnosis her as suffering from Triskaidekaphobia. She goes out of her way to avoid the number 13.

The first Friday the 13th of the year is also known as National Blame Someone Else Day. This may be the answer to our prayers depending on what happens on that day. Remember it is to be all in fun.

National Blame Someone Else Day, was invented in 1982. Starting the day with an alarm clock not going off caused a domino effect of a day filled with bad luck events for Anne Moeller of Clio, Michigan.

Just saying but could it be where she lives? O-H-I-O! Jan. 13 also recognizes National Peach Melba Day, National Sticker Day, National Rubber Ducky Day, and Stephen Foster (American songwriter) Memorial Day.

So to celebrate Friday the 13th how about some Peach Melba (a peach raspberry sauce over ice cream) for dessert while listening to music written by Stephen Foster (Oh! Susanna and Camptown Races).

Offices closed

On Jan. 16, all government offices will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. This day is to celebrate the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr.

He is most well-known for his campaigns to end racial segregation on public transportation and for racial equality in the United States.

We are in week two of our yearly notification and reminders. This week we will be covering several topics. Keep these in mind for your upcoming year.

Discrimination

As a participant or applicant for programs or activities operated or sponsored by USDA you have a right to be treated fairly.

If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, disability, or marital or familial status, you may file a discrimination complaint.

The complaint should be filed with the USDA Office of Civil Rights within 180 days of the date you became aware of the alleged discrimination.

To file a complaint of discrimination write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington DC 20250-9410 or call 202-720-5964 (voice or TDD), USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Nondiscrimination

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs).

Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form.

To request a copy of the complaint form, call 866-632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; fax, 202-690-7442; or email, program.intake@usda.gov.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

Controlled substance

Any person convicted under federal or state law of a controlled substance violation could be ineligible for USDA payments or benefits.

Violations include planting, harvesting or growing a prohibited plant. Prohibited plants include marijuana, opium, poppies and other drug producing plants.

Accommodations

Special accommodations will be made upon request for individuals with disabilities, vision impairment or hearing impairment.

If accommodations are required, individuals should contact the county FSA office staff directly or by phone.

Bank changes

Current policy mandates that FSA payments be electronically transferred into a bank account.

In order for timely payments to be made, producers need to notify the FSA county office when an account has been changed or if another financial institution purchases the bank where payments are sent.

Payments can be delayed if the FSA office is not aware of updates to bank accounts and routing numbers.

Next week we will be concentrating on notifications and reminders relating to the land.

That’s all for now,

FSA Andy

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