16 March 2000

USDA Collacating Offices To Locate In Manhattan

In a move that is expected to save nearly $9 million and result in more efficient service for customers, Agriculture Secretary
Dan Glickman announced Monday that USDA state offices in 25 states and Puerto Rico will be collocated.

The reorganization changes have been made to improve the efficiency of operations and to provide better service to the
public who utilize available programs. "Collocating offices will help us provide better, more efficient, less costly service to our
customers," Glickman said. The Kansas State Offices of the three USDA Agencies include the Farm Service Agency (FSA)
located in Manhattan, the Natural Resources Conservation Service Agency (NRCS) located in Salina and the Rural
Development Agency (RD) located in Topeka.

"Manhattan is the logical best location for this USDA collocation site due to the agricultural cluster located in the Little
Apple," said Ann Harts, Vice President, Director - Economic Development for the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce.
"Manhattan showcases such entities as Kansas State University, Kansas Farm Bureau, U.S. Grain Marketing Research Lab,
USDA Agriculture Research Service and numerous other agricultural related industries," continued Harts.

This collocation will keep approximately 35 local Farm Service Agency positions and will add approximately 100 jobs in
Fiscal Year 2002. One of the primary goals of the collocation was to be able to provide complete services to clients without
having to travel from one office to another, while maximizing available resources by occupying one site, sharing space and
administrative supplies and staff.

"Once again, it is the community partners who ensured this opportunity for Manhattan, including Senator Lana Oleen who
met with Secretary Glickman to discuss the advantages of locating the combined facility in Manhattan," stated Shirley Baker,
Chair of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce.