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Maura Bennett House Hearing on USDA Relocations
by Maura Bennett, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: June 12, 2019

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USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue is planning to move Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) out of Washington DC.

He recently announced a short list of cities in Indiana Kansas Missouri and North Carolina as potential new homes.

Many stakeholders remain steadfastly against the move.

Liz Brownlee is a young farmer raising pastured livestock in Indiana, and Dr. Jack Payne Sr. Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Florida Gainesville gave testimony during a House Subcommittee Hearing to examine the impacts of relocating USDA research agencies.

“This move would hurt my ability to build my business. Climate change is one of our most pressing needs. We need research to address how are we going to adapt our farm. Which trees should we be planting in our orchards, how do we build soil health and sequester carbon. Over the next three or four decades. The reality is if these agencies move their research is going to be delayed which means policies are going to be delayed

National Farmers Union has objected to the proposal since it was first introduced last August.

Subcommittee Chair Representative Stacey Plasket said the takeaway for her was that the move is not supported by stakeholders with the exception of researchers and lawmakers representing in the new host areas.

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