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Six on FSA office closure list to remain open

All but six of the 131 Farm Service Agency offices that the Agriculture Department proposed in January for closure will be closed, USDA said Tuesday.

The six county offices from the closure list that will continue operating are: Lafayette County, Ark.; Boulder County, Colo.; St. Mary Parish, La.; Pamlico County, N.C.; Mayes County, Okla.; and York County, S.C.

USDA followed statutory requirements provided by Congress in the 2008 farm bill for FSA office consolidations. Two sets of criteria were used. First, USDA identified offices located less than 20 miles from another FSA office that had two or fewer permanent, full-time employees. The proposal also included all FSA offices with no permanent employees, regardless of location.

Public meetings were held within 30 days of the original announcement in every county affected by the proposal, USDA said. Comments gathered during this period were reviewed by the department before formally notifying Congress of the proposal on Feb. 27.

During the following 90-day congressional notification period, the department reviewed the data, and etermined that six of the original 131 proposed offices did not meet the criteria for consolidation.

USDA Blueprint for Stronger Service
List of consolidated FSA county offices