The head of Missouri’s largest general farm organization is praising the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposed relocation of two major USDA facilities to the Kansas City region.
Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst says the move will improve USDA’s customer service, by having our public servants living where their customers are.
“You know within a day’s drive of their new headquarters (in the greater Kansas City area) will be most of the corn, soybeans, wheat, rice, cotton, I mean you think about the crops, pork, beef,” Hurst says.
Hurst describes Kansas City as the heart of our farm economy.
“The Kansas City area is home to what we call the animal science corridor, just very close to some of the best plant science researchers in the world,” says Hurst.
The Kansas City Area Development Council says the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor is home to more than 300 animal health companies, representing the world’s largest concentration.
The Council says the corridor is anchored by Columbia and Manhattan, Kansas, which is where Kansas State University is located.
There is opposition to the relocation from U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, who vows to explore all options to reverse USDA’s decision.
Leader Hoyer has issued a statement, which says the proposed relocation would disrupt the work done by USDA and would hurt the morale of federal employees.
U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Kansas City, says more than 550 jobs are involved, with average wages between $80,000 and $100,000.
U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, R-Tarkio, tells Missourinet the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) will conduct a search for a site, emphasizing that nothing has been decided yet on the site.
Hurst agrees and says whether it’s located in Missouri or eastern Kansas, the Kansas City area and Missouri will benefit. He’s hoping it will be in Missouri.
Click here to listen to Brian Hauswirth’s full interview with Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst, which was recorded on June 13, 2019:
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