Kansas City leaders speculate about jobs, money, location
Following the Trump administration’s announcement last week that it plans to move two divisions of the Agriculture Department to the Kansas City area, local leaders have begun publicizing how they worked together to convince USDA to choose Kansas City and speculating about whether USDA will pick a site in Kansas or Missouri, and what buildings USDA might consider.
The Kansas City Area Development Council, which represents the region in both states, said in a blog post that it had worked with a talent recruitment affiliate called TeamKC and the KC Animal Health Corridor to beat out other proposed locations.
“The KC region was chosen for its existing concentration of USDA employees and operations, the more than 150 federal agencies in the area, proximity to 13 land-grant universities and central location in the agricultural heart of the country,” the council said.
“This concentration is enhanced by the area’s research capabilities and industry-led initiatives like the KC Animal Health Corridor (KCAHC), and talent attraction expertise through the TeamKC initiative and network. Kansas City’s affordability, capacity for growth, easy commutes, extraordinary livability and strong desire to partner with the USDA, makes the Kansas City area the ideal home for the ERS and NIFA.”
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Thursday that most of the employees of the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture will move from Washington to the Kansas City region by Sept. 30. “We have not determined which side of the river we’re going to be on,” Perdue told reporters Thursday.
The speculation about the economic benefits of the move could be premature, however. The House will consider an appropriations bill this week that would stop the moves, and the Trump administration has said it wants to eliminate some of the 560 jobs Kansas City regional officials expect to move to their area.