By Pat Stacey
The US Department of Agriculture is going through a big cost cutting exercise and will be closing 259 domestic offices in 46 states. Six of those offices scheduled for closing are here in east Texas.
This was no doubt a difficult decision and hopefully, those employees affected will get the opportunity to transfer to other locations to keep their jobs.
When you start cutting areas of government that deal with the health and safety of the public, it is easy to stand up and say "wait a minute" but this is the type of cut that needs to happen across the federal government. It just cannot be limited to the USDA.
Cuts like these will also create a challenge for those that depend on services from agencies like the USDA as this isn't a cut based on reduced demand or lack of usage like the postal service.
Most of the offices closed don't deal in inspection but the work from those offices will have to shift somewhere and that is where the risk is. The agency will either get bogged down or services will slip.
The military recently announced similar cuts to control expenses. So it will take a concentrated effort by citizen watch groups to ensure that services don't suffer for groups such as farmers in the case of these cuts.
Perhaps we have found a true function for the occupy wall streeters to monitor and keep us all up to date.