USDA consolidating 11 offices in Mississippi as part of agency's planned closure of 259 offices

JACKSON, Mississippi , February 28, 2012 () – The U. S. Department of Agriculture has told Congress it will go ahead with the consolidation of 11 offices in Mississippi and others elsewhere across the country.

Farm Service Agency offices in Ashland, Ackerman, Fulton, Hernando, Coffeeville, Monticello, Raleigh and Purvis in Mississippi are affected as are a nutrition site in Jackson, an animal plant inspection service in Gulfport and a rural development office in Desoto County.

FSA's services include financial assistance programs for farmers and crop growers.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack notified Congress on Monday that he would proceed with the consolidations in 90 days.

USDA officials submitted in January a list of 259 locations nationwide for possible closure including 131 FSA offices.

They include offices within 20 miles of another office or with less than three employees.

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