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The Associated Press reports that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans to close 259 offices around the country, part of an overall effort that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said would save $150 million a year from USDA’s $145 billion budget.

According to the story, the moves will affect “USDA headquarters in Washington and operations in 46 states. Seven foreign offices also will be shut.” However, USDA insisted that while facilities may be closed, frequency and intensity of food safety-related inspections would not be affected.

Vilsack said that he did not expect widespread layoffs at USDA.
KC's View:
I am all in favor of leaner, more efficient regulatory agencies. I just hope that these cuts won’t mean a less effective USDA. (Not that it is as effective as I would like it to be....)