The USDA’s plan to consolidate more than 130 Farm Service Agency county offices across the U.S. by the end of 2012 hits too close to home for farmers in Ohio. According to the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News, the Montgomery County FSA office is being considered for consolidation; this is the third time in 12 years the office has been under consideration.
If the office is closed, more than 1,600 producers in the county would be affected. The two Montgomery County FSA administrators would be relocated 20 miles away to the Preble County FSA office.
Area farmers aren’t taking the possibility of losing their FSA office lightly. Nearly 100 farmers and land owners staged a parade earlier this week, driving their tractors and farm equipment to a local park to voice their concerns on the proposal.
Dan Ennist, executive director of the FSA offices for Montgomery and Preble counties, said that the decision to based out of Washington.
“Washington gives the state a certain amount of money and they say operate on what you’ve been given,” Ennist told the Dayton Daily News.
The USDA will decide by the end of the summer which five of Ohio’s 71 FSA offices will be closed.