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USDA's Perdue announces 3 finalists for research officesUSDA's Perdue announces 3 finalists for research offices

The Greater Kansas City Region, the Research Triangle Region and multiple areas in Indiana remain under consideration.

May 3, 2019

2 Min Read
Secretary Sonny Perdue at podium
USDA photo by Tom Witham

The Greater Kansas City Region, the Research Triangle Region and multiple areas in Indiana remain under consideration to be the new home of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Economic Research Service.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the three finalists, plus two additional backups, today (May 3).

The five were whittled from 136 Expressions of Interest received from parties in 35 states.

“This short list of locations took into consideration critical factors required to uphold the important missions of ERS and NIFA. We also considered factors important to our employees, such as quality of life,” Perdue said.

As part of the rigorous site selection process, USDA narrowed the Expressions of Interest list using a set of established criteria defined by USDA, NIFA, and ERS leadership. The criteria included:

  • Quality of Life: Subcategory examples include Diversity Index, Residential Housing Costs, Access to Healthcare, and Home and Community Safety Ranking.

  • Costs (Capital and Operating): Subcategory examples include Commercial Real Estate Costs, CPI Index, and Wage Costs.

  • Workforce: Subcategory examples include Labor Force Growth Rate, Unemployment Rate, and the Labor Force Population.

  • Logistics / IT Infrastructure: Subcategory examples include Lodging Availability, Proximity to Customers, and Airport Accessibility.

Related:Lawmakers oppose NIFA, ERS relocation

The top Expressions of Interest were reviewed in detail, and USDA selected a short list of locations offering existing buildings with sufficient space to meet ERS and NIFA requirements. In alphabetical order, these are the top three Expressions of Interest under consideration:


Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, cheered the Kansas City area being named a finalist.

“There’s no better place for ERS and NIFA to relocate than Kansas City,” Roberts said. “Moving the offices to Kansas City, in the middle of the country, close to stakeholders, should improve customer service and make efficient use of taxpayer dollars.”

While not in the top three, these Expressions of Interest in alphabetical order remain under consideration as alternative locations should the top three locations not suit USDA’s needs:


Both ERS and NIFA are research arms of USDA, currently located in the Washington, D.C area. Perdue launched an effort to relocate the two key research arms of the Department outside of the Washington, D.C., region.

Source: USDA, Office of Sen. Pat Roberts, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. 

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