Today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it signed a lease for permanent office space at 805 Pennsylvania Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri, to serve as the new site for its Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture Policy (NIFA) agencies.
“We’re excited to announce ERS and NIFA’s new, permanent home in downtown Kansas City, Missouri and provide clarity on commute times and work-life balance for our employees,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “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.”
The move will locate the agencies closer to constituencies and bring hundreds of high-paying jobs to the Kansas City region.
“We are thrilled that the USDA is moving its ERS and NIFA agencies to the heartland, closer to the hardworking farmers they serve,” Governor Mike Parson said. “We appreciate the commitment and support of Secretary Perdue, Senator Blunt, and the large Kansas City coalition, including Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, to grow and strengthen the entire Kansas City region. USDA’s investment will benefit both Missouri and Kansas for years to come.”
As the state’s number one economic driver, agriculture is a multi-billion dollar industry in Missouri boasting more than 100,000 farms covering 28 million acres.
“USDA’s decision to move two key agencies to Missouri will bolster the state’s already strong and unique position as a leader in the agriculture industry,” Missouri Department of Economic Development Director Rob Dixon said. “We look at this as an opportunity that will benefit the larger Kansas City region and help Missouri and surrounding states market and grow one of our top sectors.
“Almost 400,000 Missourians work in agriculture today,” Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Chris Chinn said. “These hardworking Missourians form the backbone of our economy. There are very few states that can say they have the same access to the universities, infrastructure, and now federal support that we have that contribute so much to the innovation of food production in the U.S.”
“I am pleased that after months of bipartisan regional efforts, Kansas City has been selected to house USDA’s ERS and NIFA agencies,” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said. “As an essential part of the animal health corridor, and with several high-caliber research universities and institutions nearby, I know that our regional workforce stands ready to assist these agencies in their vital research efforts. I look forward to welcoming these employees to Kansas City.”
“This has been an incredible project with an amazing amount of hard work by so many partners,” Missouri Partnership CEO Subash Alias said. “The coordination, creativity, and innovation that was critical to competing for this significant investment and job creation is a testament to the robust agtech ecosystem that stretches across Missouri, as well as to our commitment to finding real solutions for companies looking to invest and grow.”
“The mission of Port KC is to create economic opportunity and grow quality jobs in Kansas City, Missouri. The efficient and coordinated response by our state and local partners has paid off. The USDA’s move is a shot of adrenaline to downtown Kansas City, and further proof that our city and state are on the right track,” Port KC CEO Jon Stephens said.