Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will help President Donald Trump reach his goal of reducing agency budgets by five percent next year. Perdue has promised to cut his budget five percent, as last week Trump asked every Cabinet agency except the Pentagon to make a five percent cut. During the meeting, Trump told the leaders to “get rid of the fat, get rid of the waste.”
A Department of Agriculture spokesman said, “USDA stands with the president and his goal of being fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars and will absolutely meet his target,” according to the Hagstrom Report. Perdue said following the meeting that USDA would participate in the Trump plan and that he thinks USDA will “be able to meet greater than the five percent target.” The five percent announcement followed reports that the government’s budget deficit has reached a six-year high.
One move seen as a cost cutting measure by USDA is a controversial reorganization plan that would move ERS and NIFA personnel out of D.C. After receiving bids, the Department of Agriculture says more than 130 cities have expressed interest in hosting USDA agencies that would move. USDA says 136 entities in 35 states are interested in becoming the new homes of the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Indiana bids came from Hahn Kiefer Real Estate Services in Evansville and the other a coalition consisting of the Indiana Economic Development Corp., AgriNovus Indiana, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, and Purdue University.
Perdue called the interest “overwhelming,” adding that it is “gratifying” states are stepping forward to prove “not all wisdom resides in Washington, D.C.” The entities expressing interest include educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, state development agencies, county development agencies, municipalities, and for-profit entities. Find the complete list of interested parties on the USDA website, USDA.gov.
Sources: NAFB News Service and USDA