USDA Selects Kansas City for Relocation of Two Divisions
KANSAS CITY, MO. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has selected the Kansas City region for the relocation of the Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue cites affordability, easy commutes and quality of life for the site selection process. “The Kansas City region has proven itself to be a hub for all things agriculture and is a booming city in America’s heartland,” he says. “There is already a significant presence of USDA and federal government employees in the region, including the Kansas City Ag Bank Federal Reserve.”
In August, USDA had announced that it would undertake the relocations largely to attract and retain staff. The organization says it has been difficult to recruit employees to the Washington, D.C. area given the high cost of living and long commutes. While 90 percent of USDA employees are located outside of the D.C. area, ERS and NIFA are the only USDA agencies that don’t have representation outside of the national capital region.
Out of NIFA’s 315 positions, 294 will relocate while 21 will stay in D.C. Of the 329 ERS positions, 253 will relocate while 76 will stay in D.C. Employees will be offered relocation assistance. USDA will be working with the General Services Administration to secure a permanent lease space.