The Kansas City region will be home to two new USDA sites, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Thursday. The Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will relocate to the Kansas City region.
Combined, the relocations will bring nearly 600 jobs to the Kansas City region. Perdue noted cost-savings, easy commutes, quality of life and the existing workforce as some of the reasons the Kansas City area was selected.
“The Kansas City Region has proven itself to be hub for all things agriculture and is a booming city in America’s heartland,” Perdue said in a statement. “There is already a significant presence of USDA and federal government employees in the region, including the Kansas City ‘Ag Bank’ Federal Reserve. This agriculture talent pool, in addition to multiple land-grant and research universities within driving distance, provides access to a stable labor force for the future. The Kansas City Region will allow ERS and NIFA to increase efficiencies and effectiveness and bring important resources and manpower closer to all of our customers.”
The USDA predicts relocating the ERS and NIFA to Kansas City will save nearly $300M over the course of 15 years. State and local governments also offered $26M in incentives.
The USDA is currently evaluating multiple spaces on both sides of the state line for its 120,000 square-foot office space. In May, the USDA announced Kansas City as one of the top three contenders for the site.