Retiring FSA leader Gould is honored at open house

    Jay Gould, who has spent some 45 years working with local farmers, will be stepping down as executive director of the Farm Services Agency (FSA) office in Decatur after December 30. He was given a big sendoff during a five-hour open house in the FSA office on Tuesday.
    Large numbers of visitors stopped in to congratulate and to thank him, plenty of refreshments were available, and lots of old photographs and other memorabilia from more than four decades of public service were on display.
    You'll be greatly missed," said one longtime friend — a view shared by all who attended.
    The 71-year-old rural Berne resident is a native of Adams County, having been born in the Geneva area, a 1957 graduate of Decatur High School and a 1961 graduate of Indiana University.
    The person selected to replace Gould is expected to be known by mid-January.
    The four local people who oversee the FSA system here will interview several candidates on January 10 at Indianapolis and the person chosen will take over on January 18.
    There are six people in the running, all from Indiana: four women and two men.
    The interviews will be conducted by committee members Steve Conrad, Kevin Girod, and Ron Reynolds and by advisor Sharon Banning.