U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has not made any decision yet on disposal of the land from the J. Phil Campbell Sr. Natural Resource Conservation Center outside Watkinsville and isn’t likely to do so until after the first of the year, a spokesperson in the department said Monday.
The Campell Center is one of nine facilities around the country the Agricultural Research Service is closing completely, Sandy Miller Hayes, director of information for the ARS in Beltsville, Md., told me on Monday. Another will be closed in part.
The focus at present is on transfer of employees of the Campbell Center who are not able to or don’t want to retire, she said.
The Department of Agriculture can transfer the land from the Campbell Center to the University of Georgia.
Dean J. Scott Angle of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environment Sciences told me yesterday that he has requested that the USDA make that transfer.
“We are relatively certain the transfer will take place,” he added.
For details, go to Oconee County Observations.