Thursday USDA Director Sonny Purdue announced the USDA is relocating the National Institute of Food & Agriculture and the Economic Research Service from Washington, DC to Kansas City. Missouri agriculture is an $88.4 billion industry and is the #1 economic driver in Missouri.
“We are thrilled that Secretary Perdue chose to relocate ERS and NIFA to the heartland. We appreciate all the hard work and commitment from Secretary Perdue, President Trump’s Administration, and the large Kansas City coalition in making this happen,” Governor Parson said. “Missouri agriculture has unrivaled diversity, access to cutting-edge research at our land grant universities, and a thriving agribusiness environment. By choosing a location close to their farmer-constituent base, these offices will remain rooted in agriculture and, as a result, will be better able to make decisions that serve American agriculture well. ”
Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst made the following statement regarding USDA’s announcement of Kansas City as its relocation site for NIFA and ERS:
Kansas City is the heart of our farm economy and is deservedly the right choice for USDA. Secretary Sonny Perdue has often said customer service is his number one goal at USDA, and there is no better way to show his commitment than having our public servants living where their customers are. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Economic Research Service (ERS) will find Kansas City a vibrant, modern community that is excited to welcome them to the region. Our thanks to the Missouri congressional delegation in addition to Governor Mike Parson and Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn who worked closely with University of Missouri System President Mun Choi and many other leaders throughout the region to make this a reality. We greatly appreciate all of their efforts. Hopefully this is just the first of several agencies that will break through the Beltway and move to the heartland.
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Sam Graves (MO-06) applauded the United States Department of Agriculture’s announcement today that they are proposing a relocation of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Economic Research Service (ERS) from Washington, D.C. to Kansas City.
Graves advocated strongly for the move to Kansas City after it was announced that USDA was searching for a new location for the agencies.
“It just makes sense to move these USDA agencies out of Washington, D.C. to the Midwest—the heart of farm country. This move underscores the quality of life that we have here and the economic value that the Midwest brings to the table. This will be a great boost for our economy and help bring USDA research closer to the people it serves while saving the taxpayers an incredible amount of money in the process,” said Graves.
“Congratulations to all those who helped secure this proposed relocation and the more than 500 high-paying jobs that it will bring to the region.”
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced last year that the administration was planning to move the agencies out of Washington, D.C. Kansas City was announced last month as 1 of 3 finalists. 139 Expressions of Interest from 35 states were initially submitted. Criteria used in the site selection process were Quality of Life, Costs, Workforce and Logistics/IT Infrastructure.
After a potential move was originally proposed, Graves joined with Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Emmanuel Cleaver to send a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to push for moving the agencies to Kansas City.
“While there are many potential relocation options, we believe Kansas City provides the perfect balance between the various needs of the USDA,” wrote Hartzler, Cleaver, and Graves to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. “With the department’s Risk Management Agency and the Food Safety Administration already located in the Kansas City area, USDA understands the importance of having its core functions outside of the Washington Metro area and the unique benefits of operating in the Kansas City region,” the letter continued.
The Economic Research Service (ERS) is a component of the USDA whose mission is to anticipate trends and emerging issues in agriculture, food, the environment and rural America. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is a separate component of the USDA that invests in initiatives that ensure the long-term viability of agriculture.