Gilmer Free Press
Glenville FSA One of Five Federal Offices Closing in WV
Five offices of the federal Farm Service Agency will close in West Virginia in the coming weeks.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack signed the plan Tuesday, May 29, 2012 that will shut down the offices in Summersville, Huntington, Glenville, Morgantown, and Keyser.
Presently, there are 29 FSA offices in West Virginia and 10 were on the short list for closure.
“We had hearings around the state for the five offices back in February and March,“ said spokesman Rick Snuffer. “USDA has had a 30 percent reduction in funding over the past year and FSA has had over 28-people to retire and we just don’t have the staff or the funding to continue service will all offices in West Virginia, so we had to make some cutbacks.“
The criteria for closure were the level of farm activity in the local area and whether an office was in 25-miles of another FSA office.
Snuffer said two of the offices on the closure list are left with no staff after retirements.
Those employees remaining with the other three offices will be transferred to the nearest FSA office.
“There will be no job losses to it, but it’s going to be an inconvenience to our producers who are going to have to drive a little further for services,“ he said. “But all employees are going to retain their jobs.“
The Farm Service Agency is a division of the USDA and provides farmers with a variety of services.
The agency helps farmers plan production, vary up land use and crop production levels, stream protection, and offers insurance against catastrophic crop losses.
The first offices will close in July and all will be closed by October.