The U.S. Department of Agriculture selected the Kansas City region to be the home for its Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Both USDA divisions presently are based in Washington D.C. A total of 294 of the 315 NIFA employees will be relocated to the Kansas City area while 253 of the 329 ERS employees also will make the move, according to a statement released June 13 by the USDA. The move is expected to save the government nearly $300 million over a 15-year period through lower rent and staffing costs, according to a government cost benefit analysis.
Employees are expected to begin relocating by Aug. 1. Indiana was among the top 3 contenders for the USDA operations. Gov. Eric Holcomb in a statement said state economic development professionals and other partners worked diligently to develop a proposal to land the federal operations since the USDA announced the move in August 2018.
“Indiana landing in the USDA’s top three showed the nation that once again Indiana is an ideal destination and thriving community for agriculture,” Holcomb said. “We will continue positioning ourselves for further growth and momentum, ensuring we are the very best place to live, work and play.”
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said moving the selected USDA operations to the Kansas City area “(maximizes) our mission function by putting taxpayer savings into programmatic outputs and providing affordability, easy commutes, and extraordinary living for our employees.”
The USDA already employs more than 4,000 people between Kansas and Missouri and is home to other federal agencies including the Kansas City ‘Ag Bank’ Federal Reserve.
“We did not undertake these relocations lightly, and we are doing it to enhance long-term sustainability and success of these agencies,” Purdue said. “The considerable taxpayer savings will allow us to be more efficient and improve our ability to retain more employees in the long run.