The U.S. is in the longest government shutdown in history and there are no signs of a deal in the near future.  While the shutdown is only partial (the President signed spending measures to fund the military and the Departments of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services, and other key agencies), the government agencies that remain unfunded are critical to rural America.  Projects overseen by the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Fish and Wildlife Service are on-hold. Programs providing rural aid at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are frozen.  Many rural counties across the country are financially dependent on various forms of federal assistance.  Rural counties are facing a financial burden that will continue to balloon if the shutdown drags into February.