USDA presented a plan to the Senate Agriculture Committee to close 713 of the Farm Service Agency's offices nationwide. The agency also is trying to reduce its payroll by up to 655 jobs.
The closures total approximately 30% of the FSA offices. The biggest cuts, 40% or more offices closed--come in the states of Indiana, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland and West Virginia.
In a letter to outgoing FSA Administrator Jim Little, because agriculture is a constantly changing atmosphere, FSA must also change. Reports indicate the office closures will consolidate offices to modernize the system while preserving many of the jobs.
The plan is facing opposition on Capitol Hill. Senators voted earlier last week to delay the closures until the Agriculture Secretary does a detailed cost-benefit analysis.