Friday, April 30, 2021

USDA research agencies to stay in K.C., Vilsack confirms

"One and a half years ago, the Trump administration controversially relocated two Department of Agriculture research agencies out of the Beltway—a move that many suspected was an attempt to undercut their findings, which at times conflicted with the president’s political stances," Jessica Fu reports for The Counter. "Now, the Biden administration has announced that it will not reverse the move: Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said this week that USDA will keep the agencies headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, to maintain stability for staff."

Vilsack said the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture will stay put in order to minimize further disruption to staff. After the move, ERS lost two-thirds of its staff. Representatives for the union representing ERS employees said Vilsack's decision was "well-received" and said they hoped work-from-home agreements during the pandemic could be extended, Fu reports.

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