Agriculture offers another round of buyouts

The Agriculture Department is again offering buyouts and early outs - this time to nearly 2,000 employees in its Rural Development division.

Citing the department's budget crunch, Undersecretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager on Oct. 7 sent agency administrators and state directors a memorandum announcing Rural Development will offer 1,966 buyouts. The buyouts can be used in conjunction with early retirements, which will be available to all eligible employees, the memo stated.

"As Secretary [Tom] Vilsack has indicated, the fiscal situation for fiscal year 2012 and beyond has necessitated a serious reexamination of priorities," Tonsager wrote. "This has resulted in the determination that many agencies will operate as restructured and leaner organizations."

Employees who accept the buyout offer will receive the maximum available payment of $25,000, the memo said. But these payments are likely to decrease if USDA engages in subsequent rounds of separation incentives, the notice cautioned. Employees have until Oct. 31 to accept the offer, and must retire no later than Dec. 3.

Engineers, information technology specialists and supervisory information technology specialists are exempt because their jobs have been deemed critical to USDA's mission and difficult to fill.

USDA offered 544 buyouts and unlimited early outs in May. It is one of many federal agencies giving employees incentives to leave voluntarily, in the face of increasingly tight budgets.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.