Missouri and Kansas celebrated after a successful united effort to bring two Department of Agriculture agencies to the Kansas City region.
Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst responded to the USDA announcement and said, “Kansas City is the heart of our farm economy and is deservedly the right choice for USDA.”
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the Economic Research Service and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture would move to the region as part of a controversial proposal. Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas said the research that will occur at the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in nearby Manhattan, Kansas, and research that already occurs throughout the K.C. Animal Health Corridor makes Kansas City “a natural fit.”
The process to reach Kansas City has been mired by controversy and a lack of transparency, according to the National Farmers Union. NFU President Roger Johnson said the move could negatively impact the ability of these agencies to produce and fund high-quality research and communicate with legislators.
Employees of both agencies voted to unionize to negotiate in opposition to the move.