D.C. is the ultimate big government town. Food doesn’t grow there. A swamp does.
The USDA, under Trump, is trying to actually move personnel closer to where food does grow.
Employees at USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) intend to move from Washington, D.C. to an unspecified area in the Kansas City region by the end of 2019, the Washington Post reports.
Of course there’s screeching at the idea.
Why it matters: “Employees, congressional Democrats and a bipartisan coalition of former USDA leaders” have warned that the move “would devastate the two agencies,” per the Post. ERS and NIFA have both recently unionized and some “union officials have promised to fight the move.”
Washington D,C. doesn’t grow it. Missouri on the other hand has over 100,000 farms.
The swamp is whining that it might actually have to be located near where its supposed jurisdiction is located as opposed to enjoying the good life in D.C. while coming no closer to actual agriculture than the lobbyists for various concerns.
This should be the beginning of a precedent.
Several hundred employees of the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture will be asked to move “closer to customers,” in the language of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who announced the final location on Thursday morning.
“Following a rigorous site selection process, the Kansas City Region provides a win-win–maximizing our mission function by putting taxpayer savings into programmatic outputs and providing affordability, easy commutes and extraordinary living for our employees,” Perdue said. “The Kansas City Region has proven itself to be hub for all things agriculture and is a booming city in America’s heartland. There is already a significant presence of USDA and federal government employees in the region, including the Kansas City ‘Ag Bank’ Federal Reserve,” his statement continued. “This agriculture talent pool, in addition to multiple land-grant and research universities within driving distance, provides access to a stable labor force for the future. The Kansas City Region will allow ERS and NIFA to increase efficiencies and effectiveness and bring important resources and manpower closer to all of our customers.”
A new cost-benefit analysis—a tool that critics of the planned move had long said was lacking—showed that the move will save nearly $300 million over 15 years, or $20 million a year, the department said. The state and local governments involved offered relocation incentives of more than $26 million.
But… our entire country is supposed to be run out of a few blue urban cities.