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Vilsack notifies Congress of office consolidation plan

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today informed Congress that in 90 days he plans to approve consolidation of 131 Farm Service Agency offices with other USDA service centers.

Vilsack had announced the proposed closures on Jan. 9 as part of a “Blueprint for Stronger Service” that is supposed to save USDA $150 million per year in operating costs.

As required by the 2008 farm bill, FSA held public meetings in every county in which an FSA office was proposed for consolidation and also invited the public to submit comments for 10 days following the public meeting, USDA said in a news release today. All comments were reviewed and considered before the issuance of Visack’s notification letters to Congress, the agency said.