There could be fewer federal Farm Service Agency offices in Missouri and more work done on the Internet if a proposal to close about a third of them goes through. The proposal is for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to close more than 700 of the nearly 2,400 offices nationwide. Missouri could see about a third of its nearly 100 offices close. The Executive Director of the federal FSA in Missouri, Tim Kelley, says this is a chance to modernize the computer systems that his agency uses. But State Director of Agriculture Fred Ferrell is worried farmers will have to drive further to get questions answered. And he’s not sold that the technology to do more things by computer is up to the task at a crucial time. Senator Jim Talent has done his part to try and stop the closings. He successfully added an amendment to the ag appropriation bill that cuts off all of USDA’s funding if any offices are closed.
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