HARRISONBURG -- Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Matt Lohr said the possible meat inspector furloughs would really hurt the Valley.
If the federal government doesn't compromise on the upcoming budget cuts, meat and poultry plants may need to shut down temporarily.
Lohr said agriculture is the number one industry in the Valley and if federal meat inspectors can't work for weeks, many local businesses would suffer. He said local plants cannot run without meat inspectors, so there will be a ripple effect on many people.
"It would have effects on everyone who's involved in the poultry industry in some way, from the workers, to the truck drivers all the way to the farmers, to the folks who are selling equipment, so hopefully the federal government will be able to get things worked out," Lohr said.
Lohr said the state agency for poultry has enough money to help workers through an extra month. He hopes the federal government will find a way to avoid these furloughs by March 1st.