FSA Changes Office Closure Plan

Recommendations would save $790,000 annually.

The South Dakota Farm Service Agency has revised its plan for consolidating county offices.

Instead of recommending closing six county offices, it now only recommends closing three.

Still the chopping block: Campbell County, Hyde County and Jackson County offices.

Campbell County's office would be consolidated with Walworth County's; Hyde County's with Hand County's, and Jackson County's and with Haakon County's.

FSA also recommends that several counties share managers and that farm loan files to move to shared offices.

Sanborn and Jerauld; Aurora and Douglas; Ziebach and Dewey; and Mellette, Todd and Jones would share managers.

Farm loan program files would be moved from Grant County to Codington County, from Turner County to McCook County, and from Campbell County and Walworth County to Edmunds County.

More than a year ago, the national FSA office ordered state directors to figure out how to save money.
South Dakota's recommendation would cut five County Executive Director management positions, three Farm Loan Officer management positions, one District Director management position and one County Office Reviewer management position and reduce utility and rent costs. Total savings are projected to be $798,771 per year

Several lawmakers – included Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-S.D., and Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D. – have introduced bills that would prevent FSA from closing offices for a year from the date the next farm bill is signed. The delay would give Congress time to determine how much work the next Farm Bill will create for FSA offices.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., co-sponsored a bill requiring FSA to cut staff nationally before closing or consolidating county offices.

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