Congress Limits FSA Closures

Both farm bills have sections addressing Farm Service Agency office closures.

The closure of Farm Service Agency offices has gotten the attention of Congress. A provision in the Senate Farm Bill would create "critical access" FSA offices that would stay open for the life of the bill unless given Congressional approval to close. The House Farm Bill places a one-year moratorium on FSA office closures.

"What this action by both the House and the Senate tells me is that we still need to work to educate members of Congress of the consequences of forcing these offices to stay open," says acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner. "We need to use those resources to really better equip those offices where there are farmers."

Undersecretary of Agriculture Mark Keenum says the eventual result of redistribution of resources would be better services to farmers, which is what the whole approach is about.

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