U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has received 136 expressions of interest from parties in 35 states interested in becoming the new homes of the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). In August, Perdue announced that most ERS and NIFA personnel would be moving to outside the National Capital Region by the end of 2019 and invited interested parties to submit proposals, with a deadline which had been extended to October 15, 2018. USDA intends to select the new location or locations by January 2019 and will retain a consultant with expertise in relocations.
“The interest from across the country has been overwhelming as localities, universities, private entities, and elected officials realize the potential for their communities in become the new home for these two agencies,” Perdue said. “It is an old saying that not all wisdom resides in Washington, D.C., but it is gratifying to see so many folks step forward wanting to prove that to be the case. We look forward to working with Ernst & Young in examining all of the proposals and selecting the new locations.”
States represented in the expressions of interest are: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming.
The entities expressing interest in hosting ERS and NIFA include educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, state development agencies, county development agencies, municipalities, and for-profit entities. USDA has also received letters of support from a number of governors, members of Congress, farm-related organizations, and state and local officials. It is possible that ERS and NIFA will be co-located when their new homes are found. A yet-to-be-determined amount of staff from the two agencies will remain in the National Capital Region.
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