The House Agriculture Committee announced a subcommittee hearing next week on the proposed relocation of two Department of Agriculture agencies. The committee plans the hearing, “Examining the Impacts of Relocating USDA Research Agencies on Agriculture Research,” for Wednesday, June 5. Members of the Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research subcommittee will examine the proposed move of the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. USDA is expected to soon announce the final site proposals for the two agencies, after narrowing the list down to three.
USDA says the list includes the Kansas City metro, Research Triangle Park near Raleigh, North Carolina, and multiple potential locations in Indiana. The plan faces pushback from some lawmakers and USDA employees, as employees of the Economic Research Service voted this month to unionize, joining the American Federation of Government Employees. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture plans a similar vote in June. USDA says the move would cut costs, improve employee well-being and cost of living, and bring the agencies closer to stakeholders.