USDA selects Kansas City office location for ERS, NIFA
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Thursday that USDA has signed a lease on office space in Kansas City, Mo., for the relocation of most of the employees of USDA’s Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
The location is 805 Pennsylvania Ave. in downtown Kansas City. Employees of both agencies who made the move are currently working in another USDA facility.
“We’re excited to announce ERS and NIFA’s new, permanent home in downtown Kansas City, Mo., and provide clarity on commute times and work-life balance for our employees,” Perdue said in a news release.
“Both agencies have been hard at work in the Beacon Center after relocating to the region over a month ago, and signing this lease is an important next step to facilitate their long-term efficiency, effectiveness, and service to our customers. The region is not only a hub for agriculture in America’s heartland, but is also already proving to be a diverse talent pool in proximity to many land-grant and research universities. I’m confident Kansas City will continue to be a great home for the future of ERS and NIFA.”
In a background statement, USDA said “90% of USDA employees are located outside of the D.C. area, and prior to their relocation, ERS and NIFA were the only USDA agencies that did not have representation outside of the National Capital Region. While headquarters for both agencies remain in the NCR, portions of ERS and NIFA relocated to the Kansas City region on Sept. 30, 2019.”
USDA said that out of 329 total ERS positions, 76 positions remain in Washington while 253 positions are in Kansas City, and that out of 344 total NIFA positions, 21 positions remain in Washington while 323 are in Kansas City.
“As of the pay period ending Oct. 12, 2019, ERS has 30 employees onsite in Kansas City, with 69 employees permanently remaining in D.C.,” a USDA spokesperson said.
“As of the pay period ending Oct. 12, 2019, NIFA has 62 employees in Kansas City, with 18 employees permanently remaining in D.C.,” the spokesperson said.
“ERS has 16 employees and NIFA has 17 employees in KC-based positions whose relocation dates have been extended to Dec. 9, 2019, and March 30, 2020, respectively.
“In addition to these employees, both agencies are utilizing re-employed annuitants, short-term contractor support, and employees on detail from other agencies as a part of the department’s strategy to help ensure mission continuity through the transition.
“Additionally, we have well over a hundred active recruitments in process between both agencies. In total, ERS has 118 positions occupied and NIFA has 88 positions occupied,” the spokesperson said.
Former House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and 80 of his colleagues last week introduced the Protect Farmers from the SEC Act.