Perdue grilled on ERS/NIFA move
A member of the House Ag Committee shared her frustration about the relocation of USDA’s Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture with Ag Secretary Perdue this week.
During Perdue’s annual committee hearing Wednesday, Minnesota Democrat Angie Craig said the move to Kansas City by ERS and NIFA was advertised to better serve farmers and ranchers where they are.
“But it’s proven to be anything but that.”
She tells Brownfield just 26 out of 95 total positions have been filled.
“My background in business says if you have that kind of resource brain-drain out of an organization, (if) that kind of talent doesn’t move with you, that’s incredibly concerning to me.”
Craig told Perdue the move has been felt in her district. She says a program in Northfield was awarded a USDA NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher grant.
“Everything’s been done on their end, it was announced publicly in October. And as of today, that organization still doesn’t have the funds they were promised by USDA.”
ERS and NIFA are operating out of an existing USDA building in Kansas City until the remodeling of the permanent location is completed.