April 6, 2012
Rep. Leonard Boswell (Iowa), along with Rep. Rick Crawford (Ark.), introduced legislation that would prevent the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from closing any Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices until the completion of proper county workload assessments.
The bill, called the Farm Service Accountability Act, would prohibit the closure or relocation of offices with a high workload volume. In January, USDA announced - as part of a consolidation plan - it would be closing 131 FSA offices throughout the country. In addition to evaluating county workloads, the FSA Act would require the two employee provision to be determined by the number of employees as of June 16, 2008. The bill also would require that the same comment period and reporting to counties and Congress take place before any closure or relocation happens after a work load assessment is completed.
Reprinted in part from Feedstuff