June 13, 2006: Statement of Congressman Ryan on Decision to Keep Local Farm Service Agency Offices Open
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Congressman Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) released the following statement after the Ohio Farm Service Agency (FSA) sent a letter to Ryan's office indicating that local FSA offices in Trumbull and Portage County would remain open. An earlier plan by the Ohio FSA had proposed closing the Trumbull and Portage offices. In letters and conversations with the Ohio Farm Service Agency, Congressman Ryan had urged the Agency to adopt a restructuring plan that would spare the local Trumbull and Portage offices:
"This is very good news for our local agriculture producers in Trumbull, Portage and the surrounding area. When my constituent farmers contacted my office after hearing that their local offices were slated for closure we immediately set about making a case to the federal and state FSA offices for keeping these facilities open. Today we learned that these offices will likely remain open."
"Our farmers rely heavily on their local FSA offices for a wide variety of important services, including acquiring loans, assisting conservation efforts, and helping farmers manage their businesses. Now, farmers in the 17th District can be confident in the knowledge that someone is nearby to help them and their businesses become and remain successful.
"My thanks and appreciation goes out to Ohio State Executive Director John Stevenson for his patience and willingness to hear to my concerns regarding the potential closures of our local offices."
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In May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations bill offered by Congressman Ryan that will allow for a public hearing to take place no later than 30 days before the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture approves a state's request to close of local FSA office. Under current law, communities protesting plans for closure and relocation of local FSA offices may only offer public comment after the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture approves the proposal of a State Farm Service Agency. The Agriculture Appropriations bill currently awaits approval by the Senate