www.johnsonpublications.zenfolio.com Brooke Robertson | Johnson Publications
Deb Hutsell plans to retire this month after 31 years with the FSA.

Hutsell to retire after three decades

After 31 years serving Perkins County farmers and ranchers, Deb Hutsell is retiring from USDA Farm Service Agency. 

Hutsell started on Jan. 26, 1987 as a temporary program technician, and was assigned a permanent position nine months later on Oct. 11. 

During the past 31 years, she has worked in the areas of administration, automation, Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC).

Automation, which consists of loading computer software, is now done by regional IT (information technology.)

Hutsell said they were told computers would cut back on the paper. She laughed and said that was not the case, displaying the high stacks of paper on her desk. 

“We still use a lot of paper contracts, but it’s a lot easier nowadays because farmers can email us contracts. We didn’t used to have that capability,” she said.

Due to the economy, she’s also seen changes in farming over the last 31 years. 

“I joke with the guys when they come in here. The worst part used to be driving the tractor, now that’s the easy part. Now more work is done with marketing and the management side of farming, and there’s a lot more these guys have to juggle for inputs and outputs for the cost factors,” she said.

As far as the highlights of her career, Hutsell said she has really enjoyed working with the farmers. 

“They’re a good group to work with, and I’m going to miss the farmers.”

On her decision to retire, she said it’s just time. 

“We want to do some traveling and be more available to help with grandkids.” 

A retirement open house for Hutsell will be held on Thursday, April 26 from noon to 4 p.m. at the FSA office, 927 Central Ave., in Grant. 

The Grant Tribune-Sentinel

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