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Tim Manning, Florida State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency (FSA), today announced that USDA Secretary Thomas A. Vilsack has approved the closure of six FSA county offices in Florida, a process that will begin immediately. After the required notifications have been provided to producers, FSA employees and office landlords, closure dates will be established and made publicly available.
“FSA places the utmost priority on ensuring that our services to producers remain strong as this consolidation process begins,” said FSA Administrator, Bruce Nelson. The agency will provide farmers and ranchers affected by closures an opportunity to choose the most convenient neighboring county office with which to conduct their future business with the agency. In addition, all employees in a closing office will be provided an opportunity to continue their work with FSA.
As a federal agency, FSA has been affected by widespread budget reductions made by Congress. Since 2011, the Agency has lost 1,230 permanent employees through voluntary early separation and normal retirement. In addition, FSA has been forced to reduce discretionary administrative expenses by over 30 percent in the last fiscal year alone.
The county offices confirmed for closure in Florida are: Escambia, Washington, Lafayette, Hamilton, Levy, and Highlands Counties.
For a complete list of FSA county offices affected by this decision, go to www.usda.gov