The USDA (United Stated Department of Agriculture) will close 259 domestic offices, facilities and labs across the country, as well as seven foreign offices.
In some cases, offices are no longer staffed or have a very small staff of one or two people; many are within 20 miles of other USDA offices. In other cases, technology improvements, advanced service centers, and broadband service have reduced some need for brick and mortar facilities.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsac said that the USDA, like families and businesses across the country, could not continue to operate like they did 50 years ago and had to innovate, modernize, and be better stewards of the taxpayers' dollars.
The Blueprint for Stronger Service, a plan that helps producers to continue to drive America's economy by streamlining operations and cutting costs. is based on a Department-wide review of operations conducted as part of the Administration's Campaign to Cut Waste, launched by President Obama and Vice President Biden to make government work better and more efficiently for the American people.
When fully implemented, these changes will provide efficiencies valued at about $150 million annually-and eventually more based on future realignment of the workforce. These actions and plans to close or consolidate facility, office and lab operations will impact USDA headquarters in Washington and in 46 states and 1 U.S. territory.
Source: United Stated Department of Agriculture