LIMESTONE TOWNSHIP – One federal worker we met on Wednesday living near Mifflinburg is now laid off from his full-time government job in Virginia.
Darren Ryhne says he’s now spending his time tending to goats on his family farm in Union County, temporarily laid off from his government job at Fort Belvoir.
“It’s frustrating because government jobs you typically think of as being pretty stable,” said Rhyne.
Rhyne is now working to support his wife, 10-year-old daughter and about 100 animals without his main source of income. He says he’s thankful he has an Air Force pension and some rental income to fall back on.
“That helps us out quite a bit and will keep us partially going, but the animals have to eat, bills have to get paid,” said Ryhne.
Farm worker Cory Nogle appreciates the extra help from Rhyne, with 92 acres of land and animals, but knows this furlough isn’t easy.
“He worked hard for what he had to get, and seeing the struggle, you can see it in his eyes,” said Nogle.
But even as Rhyne stays busy on his family’s farm in Union County, he says his mind is a couple hundred miles away, and he hopes to get back on the job soon.
This is actually the second time this year Rhyne was temporarily laid off from his government job where he’d be preparing to instruct at the Defense Acquisition University in the Engineering and Technology Department.
“Given the last furlough, we’re just starting to catch up from that, this hit us at a pretty bad time,” said Rhyne.
Rhyne says the only silver lining to this furlough is seeing his family a little more.
“We all want to work, we don’t like sitting home. I mean, I have stuff here to do on the farm but, it’s not a good limbo situation to be in,” said Rhyne.
At last check, lawmakers have not given any indication how much longer Rhyne and the more than 800,000 federal workers will remain furloughed as this government shutdown continues.