Governor Pete Ricketts issued a statement following an announcement, Thursday, that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) would move two key programs from Washington, D.C. to the Kansas City area. The programs are the Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
“The decision by Secretary Perdue to move these programs from Washington to the Heartland sends an important message to the people served by the USDA,” said Governor Ricketts. “Agriculture is the backbone of our country. When these programs are closer to their customers, the USDA will be able to better serve the farmers and ranchers who feed the world.
Secretary Perdue, who made the announcement, feels that only good will come out of the move. “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,” said Secretary Perdue. The secretary also added that “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.”
The USDA conducted a Cost Benefit Analysis and estimates show a savings of nearly $20 million per year, which will allow more funding for research of critical needs and for programs and employees to be retained in the long run.
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