USDA Closes 259 Sites, Two In Wyoming
Modernization and better customer service are behind the closing of 259 U.S. Department of Agriculture offices and lab facilities across the country including two in Wyoming.
The consolidations come as the USDA budget gets a 3 billion dollar slashing.
Ag Secretary, Tom Vilsack, says it doesn't mean a cut back in services and no one will be losing their job.
"In many cases services will be provided in a slightly different location by the very same people. Were not laying folks off as a result of this. No ones going to lose their job as a result. We're just in essence consolidating our real estate, so to speak, in a way to do this thing more effectively."
Vilsack says the congressional move cuts somewhere between 9 and 18 percent from the department.
Even so, Vilsack says, food safety will not be impacted. The same number of food inspectors will continue to be on-the-job and the cuts won't affect the departments ability to do its job.
He says consolidation of local offices will be subject to meetings and open to public comment. The recommended changes also include more centralized human resource functions and improved service technologies for customers.