Trump’s USDA relocated research agencies despite warnings of high staff attrition
In 2019, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the government would save $300 million over 15 years by moving two research agencies to Kansas City from the District of Columbia. However, congressional auditors now say USDA's selection process was flawed and disregarded estimates that up to 75 percent of employees would quit rather than move.
USDA ‘hiring at an extremely fast pace’ to rebuild ERS and NIFA
One-third of the jobs at two USDA research agencies are still vacant 18 months after their abrupt Trump-era relocation to Kansas City, said the chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees the USDA budget on Wednesday.
Transplanted USDA agencies will stay in Kansas City, says Vilsack
Despite complaints the Trump administration needlessly uprooted them, two USDA research agencies will stay in Kansas City rather than return to the D.C. area, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday. “What we’re trying to do is limit the level of disruption” and rebuild a workforce …
USDA has chronic data issues, experts say
The Department of Agriculture under President Trump has repeatedly rolled out policies and program changes without accurate data, a report from Politico found. From trade war bailouts to cutting food stamp benefits to relocating essential USDA agencies, several members of Congress, experts, and …
Lawmakers propose USDA agency for agricultural innovation
The USDA would sprout a new research agency, dedicated to innovative agricultural technologies that will increase economic opportunity in the agriculture sector and rural communities, under legislation announced by Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet and Iowa Rep. Cindy Axne on Monday. The Advanced …
USDA to move two agencies to Pennsylvania Avenue — in Kansas City
The USDA has a permanent home for two research agencies, four months after announcing they would move to “the Kansas City region” and weeks after employees began reporting to work at temporary quarters.
With relocation, ERS losing top expert on consolidation
Thanks to the Trump administration’s decision to move the agency out of Washington, the USDA’s Economic Research Service is losing its top expert on market consolidation at a time when declining competition in agriculture is under increased scrutiny from policymakers and government officials.(No paywall)
Few ERS and NIFA replacements as relocation reaches milestone date
When Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Kansas City as the new home for two USDA research agencies, officials laid out an aggressive schedule to have everyone in place by today, the final day of fiscal 2019. The USDA has hired only a comparative handful of workers to stanch staff turnover that could exceed 75 percent and the senior Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee says the disruption is affecting farm bill implementation.
Senate vs. House confrontation looms over relocating ERS and NIFA
The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to approve a bill on Thursday that effectively approves Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s removal of two research agencies to Kansas City from Washington, setting up a clash with House leaders. The $151.7 billion USDA-FDA funding bill includes …
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 expected agency relocation would drive away employees
With the USDA on the cusp of moving two research agencies to Kansas City, a senior official said on Thursday that massive staff turnover — so far, 250 employees have declined to leave Washington — is par for the course for cross-country relocations. Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow offered a different take: “This is not a relocation. It’s a demolition.”
USDA says agencies are going to Kansas City regardless of staff refusals
Newly hired USDA employees will begin work in Kansas City on Monday as part of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s decision to move two research agencies out of Washington. The USDA said it would use “an aggressive hiring strategy” to replace the 250 staffers who declined the offer to move halfway across the United States.
Landlord wants a chance to keep NIFA in Washington
The government has extended the deadline for bids from Kansas City real estate companies looking to house two USDA scientific agencies, while the current landlord for one of those agencies contests the relocation, reported Politico.
White House targets ag provisions in veto threat of mammoth funding bill
The U.S. House opened debate on a mammoth federal spending bill, including money for the USDA, on Tuesday under the threat of a presidential veto of the $322 billion bill. The White House said it opposed half a dozen USDA provisions in the bill, including language that would preclude relocating two research agencies to Kansas City and implementing a new inspection system for hog-slaughter plants.
‘Major underestimate’ of cost of relocating USDA agencies, says group
The USDA failed to follow federal guidelines when it determined it would save money by moving two research agencies to Kansas City, said a review by the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association 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.
Perdue chooses new homes for two USDA research agencies
Ten months after he announced the initiative, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will meet with USDA employees privately Thursday and then announce to the public the new homes for two research agencies now sited in Washington.
House panel to vote on blocking relocation of two USDA agencies
If a House Appropriations subcommittee has its way, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue would be barred from moving two USDA research agencies out of Washington.