USDA announced on Thursday the relocation site for their Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture. It wasn’t the news Indiana was hoping for.
Back in early May, USDA announced that Indiana had cracked its top 3 choices for relocation for the ERS and NIFA. The proposal listed multiple sites in Indiana including Purdue University. On Thursday, Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that Kansas City beat out Indiana and North Carolina and will be their new home.
In a statement, Perdue said, “The Kansas City Region has proven itself to be hub for all things agriculture and is a booming city in America’s heartland.” He also cited the already significant presence of USDA and federal government employees in the region, including the Kansas City ‘Ag Bank’ Federal Reserve.
Governor Eric Holcomb weighed in on the decision saying he’s “extremely proud of Indiana’s efforts to pursue USDA’s headquarter divisions. Our economic development teams worked around the clock with key partners to create a superior proposal and coordinated our efforts with leaders throughout the state. Indiana landing in the USDA’s top three showed the nation that once again Indiana is an ideal destination and thriving community for agriculture.”
ERS and NIFA employees recently voted to unionize and join the American Federation of Government Employees in an attempt to halt the move out of the beltway. 547 employees will be impacted by the move.