Coalition of scientists, land grant officials urge intervention in ERS, NIFA moves
A coalition of former Agriculture Department chief scientists and current and former university administration officials on Tuesday sent letters to the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture and Agricultural Appropriations subcommittees urging them to intervene in the Trump administration’s plans to relocate most of the employees of the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture outside of Washington.
“We write to express our profound concern for USDA’s plan to relocate the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture outside of Washington, D.C., and to realign ERS out of the USDA Research, Education, and Economics mission area,” the officials wrote. “We believe the restructuring will undermine our food and agriculture enterprise by disrupting and hampering the agencies’ vital work in support of it — through research, analyses, and statistics. We are also deeply troubled such a major upheaval of the USDA research arm would be carried out with such haste and without the input and prior consultation of the USDA research stakeholders.
“In the best interests of American agricultural, food, and rural sectors, we respectfully request that you intervene to stop the restructuring of REE at least until there has been a comprehensive independent study and full consultation with the stakeholder community.”