Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C —  Senator John Thune today met with Teresa Lasseter, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator, in his Washington office to discuss his concerns about the proposed South Dakota FSA county office closings. Also attending the meeting with Thune was FSA Deputy Administrator for Field Operations, Steve Connelly, who is overseeing the office closing procedures from Washington.

In the meeting, Thune voiced his objections to the proposed closings. He also highlighted the need to continue operations is all of South Dakota's FSA offices because of the state's geography, lengthy distances between small towns, and the importance of local, accessible service for South Dakota farmers and ranchers.

Thune also took time to explain his legislation (S.944) that would require the streamlining and efficiency of operations to be studied and activated at FSA headquarters offices before closing any county offices. "I think first streamlining the FSA bureaucracy in Washington, Kansas City and Salt Lake City makes more sense than starting this process in small towns and rural communities like those targeted in South Dakota," said Thune.

Thune also told the FSA officials how important the accessibility of these offices is to farmers and ranchers across the state. "I don't know of any other issue that has brought out hundreds of people to voice their concerns like the FSA Office closing meetings have this spring."

Thune also told the FSA officials that he would work with his colleagues on the Senate Agriculture Committee during this year's reauthorization of the Farm Bill to provide necessary funds to ensure the farm bill programs would be delivered timely and with the level of service farmers and ranchers expect and deserve from FSA.