Congressman Leonard Boswell (IA-03) today announced the amendment he cosponsored with Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-01), which would prevent the Department of Agriculture from closing any additional Farm Service Agency Offices until county workload assessments are completed, was accepted by the full House Committee on Agriculture and included in its mark-up of the Farm Bill.
"This is a great success and I'm pleased my colleagues from both sides of the aisle realize the importance of approaching closures and consolidations of FSA offices in a fair and prudent manner in order to minimize the negative impacts on producers in Iowa and elsewhere throughout the country," Boswell said. "I want to thank my friend and cosponsor of this amendment, Mr. Crawford from Arkansas. Together we introduced legislation back in April regarding this issue. While we recognize tough decisions have to be made and budgets need to be tightened, we also know there should be a better approach in the future to prevent additional burden on our states and local economies by impairing the ability to respond to the needs of farmers, ranchers and producers. I will continue to work with Congressman Crawford and others to make sure this amendment is included in the final farm bill."
"The vote today shows Congress really can inject common sense into policymaking. Farm Service Offices provide American producers with the services they need to produce the safest, most abundant and affordable food on the planet. Today's bipartisan vote in the Agriculture Committee will help keep high workload FSA Offices open," Crawford said. "It has been an honor to work with my friend Congressman Leonard Boswell of Iowa on this amendment. While we realize Washington must do more with less, we also know Congress cannot hope to cure all of our nation's budget woes on the backs of rural Americans. Thanks to the Boswell-Crawford Amendment, the USDA must now recognize the producers' needs and take workload into consideration before any FSA Office is closed."