The first step to making our federal government more effective and more efficient is to bring it closer to the people. The less our government is centralized in Washington, the better it can serve the taxpayers.
With that in mind, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced last week that two agencies critical to our farm economy would be moving closer to the farmers they serve. Even better, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Economic Research Service (ERS) are expected to locate in the Kansas City region later this year.
Both agencies are critical to agriculture. NIFA invests in initiatives that ensure the long-term viability of agriculture while the ERS researches trends and emerging issues in agriculture, food, the environment and rural America. Where better to locate these agencies than right in the middle of it all? As a farmer, I can tell you that this move greatly benefits everyone involved in agriculture throughout the Midwest and around the country.
The Kansas City region is a perfect location for these agencies. Not only is it located smack dab in the middle of farm country, putting the researchers who work there closer to the farmers they serve, but the quality of life and the cost of living in the region are far better than Washington. In fact, the move is expected to save the taxpayer nearly $300 million.
The relocation won’t just save a great deal of money; more than 500 good-paying jobs will be moving from the swamp to the heartland. Unsurprisingly, a few entrenched bureaucrats aren’t happy about the move, going so far as to turn their backs on Secretary Perdue when he made the announcement. I’ve got news for them—we’ve got plenty of qualified people in North Missouri who are ready to do the work if they aren’t.
The American people greatly benefit any time a government agency can escape the vortex of Washington. I’m thrilled President Trump and Secretary Perdue have decided to move these key USDA agencies to Kansas City. This decision will help further the future of farming and our Midwest economy, all while helping to drain the swamp.