USDA to relocate two research agencies to KC, union scientists protest

June 14, 2019 - 4:38 am

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to relocate the headquarters of two research agencies to the Kansas City area, intensifying concerns that research will suffer.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the move Thursday and said it will bring the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture closer to farmers and agribusinesses. He also said it would save about $20 million a year.

But the Union of Concerned Scientists predicted the move will drive off researchers and called it "a blatant attack on science."

A union representing Economic Research Service employees said the move is "coldhearted" and called for keeping workers in Washington.

Members of the Kansas and Missouri congressional delegations and the state's governors applauded the decision. It's expected to bring 550 jobs to the area.

We picked Kansas City for the new location of @USDA_ERS & @USDA_NIFA. KC helps us move closer to our stakeholders & redirects taxpayer savings into funding for research of critical needs like rural prosperity and agricultural competitiveness. More HERE:

— Sec. Sonny Perdue (@SecretarySonny) June 13, 2019
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