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October 04, 2005   Email to Friend 

CHAMBLISS CALLS TOP USDA OFFICIALS TO HEARING ON FSA CLOSINGS
From Wire Reports
(334) 613-4212
October 04, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) said a full Committee hearing proposed by Senator Jim Talent (R-MO) on USDA's efforts to close more than 713 Farm Service Agency offices will be held Thursday, October 20 at 10:30 a.m. Eastern.

Chambliss credited Senator Talent with gaining Senate support for farmers' need of local FSA office advice with complex USDA regulations. Led by Senator Talent, the Senate unanimously adopted an amendment to the fiscal year 2006 agricultural appropriations bill for the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a thorough analysis of the impacts before any office closings.

"Senator Talent and I agree that service to producers and the agriculture community should not diminish," said Chairman Chambliss. "Unfortunately, USDA has yet to demonstrate that the FSA Tomorrow plan will yield better service for producers. At Senator Talent's suggestion, we will have top USDA officials in for an accounting."

"I want to thank Chairman Chambliss for his quick response," said Sen. Jim Talent. "The USDA put the cart before the horse with their FSA Tomorrow plan. We are very concerned about closing our FSA offices when there has been little or no consultation with local offices or our farmers and producer groups. The issue we need to address in the hearing is that service and accessibility to the agriculture community should be our No. 1 priority with the way we handle FSA offices."


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