Research agencies shouldn’t be moved, NFU says

Staff Writer

The National Farmers Union is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Congress to suspend a planned move of two agricultural research agencies.
Ten months after introducing a plan to relocate and reorganize two major agricultural research agencies, the USDA has announced that it will move the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Economic Research Service to the Kansas City region.
In response to USDA’s announcement, NFU President Roger Johnson restated the organization’s dissent and called on Congress to prevent the process from moving forward
He issued the following statement:
“Family farmers and ranchers wear dozens of hats – in addition to growing food; they are also business owners, scientists, marketers, and technicians. Mastering all these drastically different skills requires access to objective, science-based solutions – and it requires evidence-based policies that support those solutions. Moving NIFA and ERS farther away from our nation’s capital, as the USDA intends to do, could negatively impact the ability of these agencies to produce and fund high-quality research and communicate with legislators, which could, in turn, make it that much more difficult to be a farmer.
“We are extremely frustrated that our serious concerns have fallen on deaf ears. Even in light of all of these possible repercussions, USDA is barreling forward with this ill-conceived plan. Their slapdash approach has already disrupted operations and eroded morale at both NIFA and ERS. Before additional damage is done, we strongly urge Congress to act swiftly to put an end to this destructive relocation and reorganization.”


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