Congress works on a new Farm Bill. Meanwhile, repercussions from the last one are now being felt in some Idaho counties. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will close four county Farm Service Agency offices in the next few months. These offices help farmers and ranchers with federal commodity programs, disaster relief, and credit.
USDA’s Farm Service Agency has shed more than 1,200 workers nationwide since 2011. In Idaho, sixteen people voluntarily retired or took buy-outs. Dick Rush is Executive Director for the FSA in Idaho. He says, "The Congress has reduced our budget as they have all federal agencies so we’ve got to respond somehow."
That means they’ll also close four offices in Orofino, Marsing, Payette, and Shoshone by the end of September. Rush says the FSA chose these offices because they were within 20 miles of another one, and had two or fewer employees. Idaho will be left with 29 offices once the downsizing is complete.
Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio