WASHINGTON, D.C. — The USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) are being relocated to Kansas City.

The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the move to the Midwest in a press release Thursday.

Photo: United States Department of Agriculture

A cost-benefit analysis revealed that moving the services to Kansas City would save the USDA nearly $20 million per year, allowing the extra funds to be put towards other USDA research projects.

According to the press release, numerous state and local governments had offered relocation incentives totaling around $26 million to bring the ERS and NIFA to their city.

On top of the savings, the move opens the door for the ERS and NIFA to a more diverse work force with a passion for agriculture. The USDA will also have more direct lines of communication with crop and livestock producers.

Sec. Perdue was quoted in the press release expressing his enthusiasm for the opportunities the relocation brings.

“Following a rigorous site selection process, the Kansas City Region provides a win win – maximizing our mission function by putting taxpayer savings into programmatic outputs and providing affordability, easy commutes, and extraordinary living for our employees,” Sec. Perdue said, “The Kansas City Region has proven itself to be hub for all things agriculture and is a booming city in America’s heartland. There is already a significant presence of USDA and federal government employees in the region, including the Kansas City ‘Ag Bank’ Federal Reserve. This agriculture talent pool, in addition to multiple land-grant and research universities within driving distance, provides access to a stable labor force for the future. The Kansas City Region will allow ERS and NIFA to increase efficiencies and effectiveness and bring important resources and manpower closer to all of our customers.”

To learn more about the cost-benefit analysis, visit the USDA’s website.