For Immediate Release
January 12, 2011
Ethel Truly 601-965-4300, ext.102
(Jackson, Miss.) – Jan. 12, 2012— Michael R. Sullivan, State Executive Director for USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Mississippi, today announced the schedule of public hearings regarding consolidation of FSA county offices proposed three days ago by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Thomas A. Vilsack.
"Mississippi has eight of the 131 FSA county offices proposed for consolidation," said Sullivan. "I stress that these consolidations are proposed, and final decisions will not be made until after the public hearings," he said. Sullivan will lead the public meetings.
The announcement by Vilsack indicated that offices proposed for consolidation were selected because they had two or fewer employees and were located within 20 miles of another FSA office, or because they had no employees, wherever they were located.
"The consolidation proposal was designed to ensure that Mississippi's farmers and ranchers will be well served if the plan is implemented," said Sullivan. "It is clear that we do not have the budget or workforce for an adequate staff in every county in the state," he said. "No employees will lose their jobs as a result of the proposed consolidations since they will be needed in other FSA offices."
"Producers of commodities in the counties with an FSA office proposed for consolidation are invited to the public meetings," said Sullivan. The FSA county offices proposed for consolidation and the public hearing schedule are as follows:
Benton County: Jan. 24 at 9:00 a.m. at the Benton County AgriCenter on Highway 5 N north of Ashland;
Choctaw County: Jan. 23 at 1:30 p.m. at the Choctaw County Courthouse courtroom, Ackerman;
DeSoto County: Jan. 25 at 2:00 p.m. at the Gale Community Center, 2601 Elm Street, Hernando;
Itawamba County: Jan. 24 at 3:00 p.m. at the Woodmen of the World Building at the Peppertown exit off Highway 78 three miles west of Fulton;
Lamar County: Jan. 20 at 10:00 a.m. at the Purvis City Voting Station in Purvis;
Lawrence County: Jan. 19 at 10:00 a.m. at the Lawrence County Civic Center, 125 East Broad Street, Monticello;
Smith County: Jan. 19 at 2:00 p.m. at the Smith County Office Building Auditorium, 212 Sylvarena Ave., Raleigh (across from the Tax Collector's office); and
Yalobusha County: Jan. 26 at 2:00 p.m. at the USDA Multipurpose Building, 18025 Highway 7, Coffeeville.
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