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2012-01-19 digital edition

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2012-01-19 / Front Page

Giddings’ Farm Service Agency Office May Be Closing

Public Meeting scheduled for Friday at 3 in Lincoln

The Lee County Farm Service Agency announced last week that the Giddings office is being considered by the United States Department of Agriculture for consolidation with another office. If the Giddings office is closed, it will consolidate with the Fayette County office. The USDA FSA has scheduled public meetings in 15 Texas counties where FSA offices are being considered for proposed consolidation under USDA’s plan to increase departmental efficiencies.

According to the TSA, Lee County farmers and ranchers received $ 2.4 million in commodity loans, program, conservation and disaster payments during the 2010 fiscal year. Fayette County farmers and ranchers received $100,000 less than Lee County in 2010. That is disconcerting to some people.

Lee County Judge Paul Fischer said, “I don’t understand why the Lee County office would be under consideration of moving or consolidating with the Fayette County office if our farmers and ranchers received more assistance from the FSA. If our people need help more than Fayette County, wouldn’t it make sense to move the Fayette County office to Giddings?”

Mike Organ, President of the Lee/Bastrop County Farm Bureau said, “It seems that any time the Federal government wants to make a cut, they make it in agriculture. They’ll aid business, they’ll aid the homeless, they’ll aid the unemployed, but agriculture is America’s food supply. If we don’t eat, those other categories don’t matter.”

A public meeting has been scheduled so that area farmers and ranchers can make their concerns known. It will be held this Friday, January 20, 2012 at 3 p.m. at the Lincoln Community Center located at 1000 Avenue D in Lincoln. Judge Fischer encourages area producers to clear their calendars and attend this meeting.

According to the FSA, this will be the only public meeting held to take public comment on this proposed plan. Producers can also provide written comments by emailing txsed@tx.usda.gov or sending written comments to Texas Farm Service Agency, James Douglass, P O Box 2900, College Station, TX 77841 no later than Monday, January 30, 2012.

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