Steve Maurer, Ohio State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency (FSA), announced that USDA Secretary Thomas A. Vilsack has approved the closure of 5 FSA county offices in Ohio, a process that will begin immediately. The county offices confirmed for closure in Ohio are: Carroll, Clark, Meigs, Montgomery and Perry counties.
After the required notifications have been provided to producers, FSA employees and office landlords, closure dates will be established and made publicly available.
“FSA places the utmost priority on ensuring that our services to producers remain strong as this consolidation process begins,” said Bruce Nelson, FSA Administrator.
The agency will provide farmers and ranchers affected by closures an opportunity to choose the most convenient neighboring county office with which to conduct their future business with the agency. In addition, all employees in a closing office will be provided an opportunity to continue their work with FSA.
The Carroll County office will be consolidated with the Tuscarawas County FSA office and located in New Philadelphia. Clark County will be consolidated with the Madison County FSA office and located in London. Meigs County will be consolidated with the Gallia/Lawrence County FSA office and located in Gallipolis. Montgomery County will be consolidated with the Preble County FSA office and located in Eaton. Perry County will be consolidated with the Fairfield County FSA office and located in Lancaster.
“Even though there is a plan on where the FSA office workload will be moved for the affected counties, farmers still have an option to choose the office most convenient for them,” said Chris Bruynis, Ohio State university Extension assistant professor and Extension educator. “When farms are transferred to an administrative county due to county office closure, producers have the ability to request a new administrative county office based on convenience of the producer. There are a set of guidelines that need to be followed and approval is dependent on either the county committee or the state committee depending on the request. Producers on farms affected by county office closures have 30 calendar days from the date of the letter they receive notifying them of the closure to select a new administrative county office.”