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USDA Announces Office Closures

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has unveiled a plan to close 259 of USDA’s domestic offices, labs and facilities, Government Executive reports.

USDA will close about seven foreign offices as well.

“The USDA, like families and businesses across the country, cannot continue to operate like we did 50 years ago,” Vilsack said. “We must innovate, modernize, and be better stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars.”

USDA said the offices planned for closure have either no staff or a limited number of staff. USDA also said the closures would save nearly $150 million each year.

According to Government Executive:

The Food and Safety Inspection Service will close five offices in five states.

The Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services will close 31 field offices in 28 states.

The Agricultural Research Service will close 12 programs at 10 locations.

The Farm Service Agency will consolidate 131 offices in 32 states.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service will close 24 soil survey offices in 21 states.

The Foreign Agricultural Service will close two country offices.

The Rural Development division will close 43 area and sub-offices in 17 states and U.S. territories.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will close 15 offices in 11 states and five offices in foreign countries.

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