USDA Announces Additional Changes
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced on Thursday, Sept. 7, the realignment of a number of offices within the U.S. Department of Agriculture in order to improve customer service and maximize efficiency. The actions involve innovation, consolidation and the rearrangement of certain offices into more logical organizational reporting structures, building on the reorganization first announced in May.
One area that directly affects American sheep producers is the merger of the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration into the Agricultural Marketing Service. Currently, GIPSA and AMS both carry out grading activities and work to ensure fair trade practices. Specific to fair trade practice work, the new structure will contain a program area composed of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act Program and the Packers and Stockyards Program, as well as some other regulatory activities AMS is currently directed to carry out.
In addition, this new program area will have the responsibility to carry out Warehouse Act functions currently being provided by Farm Service Agency. The grain inspection activities will become a separate program area in AMS. These improvements will provide a unified USDA presence focused not on programs, but on customers and the services they are provided.