The United States Department of Agriculture is considering closing 131 Farm Service Agency offices around the country, and five Kentucky counties could be affected.
The USDA is proposing that it close its farm service agency offices in Bullitt, Green, Jackson, Whitley, and Lee counties. Spokesman Matt Herrick says the agency is facing a 12 percent cut to its discretionary spending. About 7,000 employees have also left the agency over the past 15 months, taking advantage of buyout incentives and retirement.
“Where we are today is that we have less money and we have less people to implement some of our programs,” he said. “And we have more complex programs than ever and more of them to implement. So what we really needed to do was to take a hard look at the way we do business.”
Herrick says the USDA is only considering closing offices where other county offices are relatively close by. The agency is also looking into modernization measures, like making its online applications accessible. Herrick says a final decision will be made within 90 days.