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KC Region is Named Top Three Finalist for Major USDA Operations

by Lexi Ryan | May 03, 2019

KC Region - The Kansas City Area Development Council and its partners across the two-state region are proud to be chosen as one of three possible locations to become the new home of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

“Without a doubt, the KC region is the best location for these essential facilities,” said Tim Cowden, president and CEO, Kansas City Area Development Council. “Our region is home to a concentration of existing USDA assets, workforce and security operations. Add to that our 100+ year legacy of leadership in the agriculture and animal health industries, and a location in the KC area would truly be a homecoming for the USDA.” 

The KC area is home to more than 5,000 skilled USDA employees and contractors located throughout the KC region. The region is also home to more than a dozen USDA agency operations which have strong connections with industry partners across the two-state area. There are nearly 40,000 federal employees and a robust Federal Executive Board already in place in our region.

“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,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said. “Relocation will help ensure USDA is the most effective, most efficient, and most customer-focused agency in the federal government, allowing us to be closer to our stakeholders and move our resources closer to our customers. Our commitment to the public and our employees is to continue to be transparent as we proceed with our analysis.” Read more

These existing USDA operations are enhanced by the close proximity to research capabilities and industry-led initiatives like the KC Animal Health Corridor (KCAHC).

“The KC Animal Health Corridor is a global thought leader in animal health and works collaboratively with industry, academia and government to advance innovation and public policy as well as develop the next generation of talent for the agriculture industry,” said Kimberly Young, president, KC Animal Health Corridor. “The members of the Corridor strongly endorse the relocation of NIFA and ERS to the KC area and welcome the opportunity to collaborate to advance cutting-edge discoveries, bolster the economy and enhance the safety of the nation’s food supply.” 

Cowden added, “The USDA’s core strengths match the KC region’s – agriculture, technology, engineering, finance, logistics, customer service and more. Given KC’s affordability, capacity for growth, easy commutes, extraordinary livability and strong desire to partner with the USDA, we feel confident that they will soon call the KC area home to the ERS and NIFA.”

The KC region’s bid has had broad unified support from federal and state officials in Kansas and Missouri.

About Greater Kansas City
Home to 2.5 million people, the Kansas City region is recognized as "America's Creative Crossroads" as a center for technology and artistry. Kansas City was selected for the roll-out of Google's 1 Gigabit Google Fiber service, and for one of Cisco's most comprehensive Smart+Connected Cities programs. www.thinkKC.com.

About KCADC
The Kansas City Area Development Council serves the 18-county, two-state Kansas City area by marketing the region's business and lifestyle assets to companies around the world. Working closely with its 50+ state, county and community partners the region has attracted more than 60,000 new jobs over its 40-year history. KCADC also leads the efforts behind KC SmartPort, the KC Animal Health Corridor and TeamKC. www.thinkkc.com  

About the KC Animal Health Corridor
Companies with a business location in the KC Animal Health Corridor account for more than half of the sales generated by the global animal health industry. The Corridor, anchored by Manhattan, Kansas, and Columbia, Missouri, is home to more than 300 animal health companies, representing the largest concentration in the world. For more information, visit KCanimalhealth.com.

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