Skip to content

Blunt Touts USDA’s Selection of Kansas City for ERS & NIFA

June 18, 2019

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) spoke on the Senate floor to highlight the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s selection of Kansas City as the new headquarters for the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Following Are Excerpts From Blunt’s Remarks:

“Madam President, as the St. Louisans were celebrating the Stanley Cup, people on the other side of our state in Kansas City received some great news. This time great news from the federal government when the U. S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, announced on Thursday that two federal ag research agencies would be moving their headquarters to the Kansas City region from Washington, D.C.

“The Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture together will bring more than 500 jobs to the Kansas City area. It's fantastic news for our state, for our region. I think also for the workers at those two agencies and their families. The point of the move is to get more important government offices closer to the customers they serve and to save the taxpayers money -- and Kansas City will be a great place to do both of those things. …

“Missouri is already home to more than 5,000 U.S. Department of agricultural employees and contractors working for a dozen different department offices in the Department of Agriculture. But bringing these two agency headquarters to the state will put them right in the middle of some of the most exciting and cutting-edge innovation happening in the ag industry. …

“Kansas City is close to at least a dozen land grant universities. In our state, two of those would be the University of Missouri in Columbia and Lincoln University in Jefferson City. These institutions, along with their other land grant institutions in the region are preparing for the next generation of ag leaders to meet maybe the greatest challenge of all time as world food demand moves toward doubling between now and 2050 and world food need doubles between now and 2060. …

“Relocating these agencies will create a relocation where they can save taxpayers a lot of money. Secretary [Perdue] anticipates that almost $300 million will be saved over the next 15 years and all the moving costs will be earned back within 12 months of the move. Hard to imagine an investment you make where you have 100 percent payback in 12 months, but that's going to happen with this one. That frees up more resources to go toward grants and research instead of being paid to the department's landlords. …

“I think there were other choices, but I certainly think the choice of Kansas City was a good one. It's a thriving economy right now with lots of job opportunities. Like the rest of the country, there are more jobs available than people looking for work…

“The people at ERS and NIFA join the many USDA colleagues they already have in our state. We think they will find their mission easier and more rewarding than ever. It's a great time to look forward toward the future of agriculture. Certainly, Missouri and Kansas City - and Kansas - and that entire region that hubs around Kansas City, Missouri - is excited to be a bigger part of that.” 


Next Article » « Previous Article