The US Department of Agriculture is closing hundreds of Farm Service Agency offices across the country, including in Waseca and Nicollet counties, as part of a nationwide cost-saving measure. The closures in Minnesota also include FSA offices in Chisago, Pine and Scott counties. About 260 offices nationwide are scheduled to be closed. The closures are intended to streamline Farm Service Agency operations and cut costs. The criteria on what offices would be closed were based on office staff numbers and proximity to other FSA offices. Offices with 2 or fewer employees and/or within 20 miles of another FSA office were candidates for closures. Nicollet County FSA office operations will be consolidated with the FSA office in Mankato, and Waseca County operations will be absorbed by the Owatonna FSA office. The closures will take effect in early August.