CARROLLTON, Ohio — The bad news for Carroll County farmers is that the county Farm Service Agency office is closing. The good news, for now, is that there is no timeline as to when the doors will close.
Making it official
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack made the closure of five Ohio FSA offices official May 29. The closure process is to begin immediately.
The county offices confirmed for closure in Ohio are: Carroll, Clark, Meigs, Montgomery and Perry counties.
David Baird, executive director of the FSA offices in Tuscarawas and Carroll counties, said the Carroll County office will remain open during the crop certification process, and an exact date for closing has not been set.
After the Carroll County FSA office closes, producers and landowners will need to travel to the Tuscarawas County office in New Philadelphia to complete paperwork or talk to an FSA employee.
“For now, it’s business as usual, as we get through the crop certification process,” said Baird.
But Baird said he expects the office to be closed by 2013.
Pa. offices closing
In Pennsylvania, seven FSA county offices will close as part of the measure.
They include the Blair County office in Hollidaysburg; Carbon County office in Lehighton; Fulton County office in McConnellsburg; Lebanon County in Lebanon; Mifflin County in Burnham; Perry County in New Bloomfield; and Wyoming County in Tunkhannock.
Farm bill 2008
The 2008 farm bill called for the closings. First, USDA identified FSA offices located less than 20 miles from another FSA office that had two or fewer permanent, full-time employees. Additionally, the proposal included all FSA offices with zero permanent employees regardless of location.