LEE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – 125 USDA Farm Service Agency offices will close nationwide next month. That includes offices in Ackerman, Coffeeville and Fulton. Since the early 1930s working under various names, The Farm Service Agency is changing office arrangements in Northeast Mississippi and across the country. That means some long-time relationships between farmers and their agents will end. But some old friendships — and some new ones — will begin.
“We already have some producers that have farms in both counties so we already know them. But those that just been in Itawamba County through the years will be served from Lee County and we look forward to providing good service. Getting to know those people and developing a relationship with them. Especially Sandra Beam will be coming as a program technician from that office and working here in Lee County,” said Ross Lofton, Lee County Director.
Services farmers have come to know and appreciate will continue, but there will be some shuffling around as three offices close.
“Choctaw County is going to be closing, consolidating with Oktibbeha County. The Itawamba County office is going to be closing, consolidating with Lee County. And then, Benton County is going to be closing, consolidating with Tippah County,” said Tim Wilson, FSA District Director.
More staff at each location will also mean more resources available.
“We are going to be doing a lot more workload in the counties that are receiving the files receiving the farmers. There is going to be a lot more work to do. As far as the receiving counties,” said Wilson.” And we think we can provide good service with more resources in this location as we have to downsize employee numbers just for budgetary reasons,” said Lofton.
The FSA merger of Lee and Itawamba Counties become effective September 10th.