Dozens of Farm Service Agency offices across Iowa are seeking new employees.
Matt Russell, the Iowa FSA director, says they’re hiring for a host of positions in dozens of Iowa communities. “One of the things this administration is really committed to is filling these positions all across rural America in U.S.D.A,” Russell says. “We’re in a hiring time at FSA, and I’d also say at NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service), which shares our office spaces in the counties, and Rural Development, which is only about eight counties in the state. They’re also hiring.”
There are 97 FSA offices statewide, nearly one in every county, and Russell says the need is great for new workers. There was a big hiring push in 1985 after the new farm and conservation bills, and many of those people are now retiring.
“We’re now at a similar time where we’re having to ramp up what U.S.D.A. does because American farmers are needed on the front lines, for fuel, for food, for conservation and ecosystem services,” Russell says, “and that’s part of what we’re seeing as well.” It’s a challenging time to be in agriculture, he says, because while commodities prices are at near-record high levels, so are input prices.
“There’s a lot of money coming in and a lot of money going out,” Russell says. “This year should be a pretty good year for income for farmers — if they had their inputs purchased ahead of time. Going forward, interest rates, input prices that could be challenging, but the expectation is that the prices are going to continue to be pretty strong as well because the demand is high.”
He says the U.S.D.A. plays a big role in helping to manage all of those ups and downs. Learn more about the job opportunities at your county’s nearest Farm Service Agency office or visit: www.usajobs.gov.
(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)