Sponsored By

USDA closes offices in five states

FBI and local enforcement determining whether threats are credible.

Jacqui Fatka

August 30, 2016

1 Min Read
USDA closes offices in five states

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture received “several anonymous messages that are concerning for the safety of USDA personnel and its facilities,” leading the department to close offices in five different locations.

As a precaution, USDA closed offices, until further notice, in Ft. Collins, Colo.; Hamden, Conn.; Beltsville, Md.; Raleigh, N.C., and Kearneysville and Leetown, W.Va.

These closures currently affect the following USDA agencies and offices at the locations: the Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, Agricultural Research Service, Food Safety & Inspection Service, Forest Service, National Agricultural Library, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Office of the Inspector General and USDA Departmental Management.

“USDA is working closely with federal and local law enforcement, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to determine whether the threats are credible,” USDA director of communications Matt Herrick said. “Personnel at these locations have been made aware of the threats and will not report to these offices until further notice.”

The Associated Press reported that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, in an email to employees, said USDA is closing the offices “due to the serious nature of these threats” and added that Vilsack “did not characterize the threats or say how they were received but asked employees to be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity.”

About the Author(s)

Jacqui Fatka

Policy editor, Farm Futures

Jacqui Fatka grew up on a diversified livestock and grain farm in southwest Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications, with a minor in agriculture education, in 2003. She’s been writing for agricultural audiences ever since. In college, she interned with Wallaces Farmer and cultivated her love of ag policy during an internship with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, working in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Capitol Hill press office. In 2003, she started full time for Farm Progress companies’ state and regional publications as the e-content editor, and became Farm Futures’ policy editor in 2004. A few years later, she began covering grain and biofuels markets for the weekly newspaper Feedstuffs. As the current policy editor for Farm Progress, she covers the ongoing developments in ag policy, trade, regulations and court rulings. Fatka also serves as the interim executive secretary-treasurer for the North American Agricultural Journalists. She lives on a small acreage in central Ohio with her husband and three children.

Subscribe to Our Newsletters
Feedstuffs is the news source for animal agriculture

You May Also Like