USDA dismisses finding of agency relocation as unconstitutional

The USDA failed to obtain congressional approval before relocating two research agencies to Kansas City this summer, said an inspector general's report on Monday. "The budgetary provisions...requiring committee approval are unconstitutional," responded USDA's lawyers in rejecting the standard Capitol Hill requirement for agencies to notify Congress and receive permission to reprogram expenditures.

Declining investment in public ag research threatens innovation, report says

A new report from Purdue University, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, and other groups says that public spending on agricultural research in the United States has plummeted, threatening innovation and public access to information. At the same time, it says, ag research is becoming increasingly privatized.

USDA tries to plug the holes as ERS staff flows away

The USDA is already recruiting employees to replace Economic Research Service staff workers who will not relocate to Kansas City this summer, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Wednesday.

USDA announces Kansas City region as new home of NIFA and ERS

In a highly anticipated announcement, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Thursday that the Kansas City region would be the new home of the agency’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and Economic Research Service.

NIFA employees vote to unionize by large margin

In the face of a proposed relocation from their longtime base in the nation’s capital, research employees at the USDA overwhelmingly voted to unionize. Eligible workers at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture Tuesday voted, 137 to 2, to join the American Federation of Government …

GOP hoots ‘elitist’ as Democrats question USDA’s plan to relocate researchers

Hoping to dissuade Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, farm-state Democrats in Congress asked for a cost-benefit analysis that would justify moving two USDA research agencies out of Washington. Two senior Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee ridiculed the opposition to the relocation as elitism and knee-jerk obstructionism of President Trump.

Come here, ERS and NIFA, say Kansas and Missouri lawmakers

With a USDA decision expected soon, Missouri and Kansas lawmakers said that Kansas City “is ideally located” to be the new home of two research agencies that Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue wants to move out of Washington before the end of this year. The Kansas City area is one …

Is moving day near for two USDA agencies?

Like a genial bulldozer, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue relentlessly is pushing two scientific agencies out of Washington, with an announcement expected in mid-May of a new home in the heartland. Some mid-level USDA officials believe Kansas City, already the home of the department's commodity procurement office, is the favored site.

USDA tells ERS and NIFA staff who stays and who moves

As part of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s plan to move two research agencies out of the Washington area, officials have given “stay/go” information to employees, said a USDA spokesperson on Tuesday. Three-fourths of Economic Research Service workers will be asked to …