Mound City FSA office to close in July

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by Katie ZerrUnited States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack notified Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Craig Schaunaman, on Thursday, May 31, that effective June 16, the Campbell County FSA office would be officially closed.

The Walworth County FSA office in Selby, which is 17 miles from the Mound City office will provide all FSA program services. Producers can elect to transfer records to another county if they prefer.

On May 29, FSA received approval from the USDA to proceed with the implementation of the county office consolidation plan, including four county offices in South Dakota. The four offices that will be closed are Harding, Jackson, Campbell and Jerauld counties. FSA offices that had one or two employees or were within 20 miles of another FSA office were candidates for closure; 125 offices are being closed across the country. There has not been an employee in Harding County, a worker from Walworth County has driven to Mound City to man the office in Campbell County, and Jackson County has two employees and Jerauld has one. Schaunaman said the office consolidations would improve the efficiency of the service and help the employees in the Selby office concentrate on their areas of specialization.

The reasoning behind the closings are to cut operating costs and to consolidate operations in fewer locations.

“Over the past three years FSA has faced a variety of budget-related challenges,” said Bruce Nelson, Administrator of the Farm Service Agency. “Through a targeted office consolidation effort that includes 125 offices nationwide, FSA is striving to balance significant budget cuts, staff reductions and increasing workloads while focusing the efforts of our staff on high-quality service. There are 2,119 offices remaining in the FSA network to do just that.”

Area producers may find the change an inconvenience in the beginning according to Nelson.
“Although we recognize that change is never easy, we strongly believe that taking this action now is critical to ensuring FSA can continue to serve its customers as it adjusts to budget constraints,” said Nelson. For more information, contact the South Dakota Farm Service Agency office at 605- 352-1160.

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