U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced today the Kansas City region has been chosen as the new home of the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agricultural Policy (NIFA). The move from the Washington, D.C., region to Kansas City is expected to include roughly 700 reported federal jobs. Kansas City came out on top against Indiana, North Carolina and Wisconsin, who were also in the running.
In a statement from Gov. Mike Parson, he says he is thrilled that Secretary Perdue chose to relocate the 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,” says the Republican governor. “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 U.S. Senators Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley, both Republicans, issued statements today applauding the announcement.
“These agencies will bring hundreds of good-paying jobs to the area and enhance Missouri’s role as a national leader in ag research,” said Blunt. “Secretary Perdue made the right choice in selecting Kansas City, which is a great place to live and work. The challenges and opportunities have never been greater than they will be in the next 25 years. These research agencies do great work and will be at the cutting edge of agriculture and well located for assistance and examples as they do their job.”
“This is outstanding news for the Kansas City region. We’re home to some of the hardest working farmers in the country, so this is a fantastic decision by the USDA,” said Hawley. “As the new home of the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Missouri and Kansas will continue to lead in the research and development of American agricultural policy for the 21st century. We are grateful for the job opportunities and renewed partnership this move creates for our state.”
According to Kansas City area Democratic Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, the jobs are expected to average between $80,000-$100,000 annually.
“The decision by USDA to select Kansas City as the location for the new ERS and NIFA headquarters demonstrates our region’s impressive combination of high quality of life, skilled workforce, and agricultural impact. The USDA is always in search of talented, experienced workers that can help forward their mission to promote agriculture production and economic opportunities to rural America. I have no doubt that the people of Kansas City will be able to meet these personnel needs,” Cleaver said.
Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst says 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,” Hurst said in a statement. “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.”
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