FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2019
Contact: Hannah Packman, 202-559-9890
WASHINGTON – Despite concerns about how it would affect the quality, quantity, and objectivity of agricultural research, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is rushing forward with plans to move the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Economic Research Service (ERS), two major research agencies, outside of Washington, D.C., and reorganize ERS under the jurisdiction of the Chief Economist.
In a letter sent today to Congressional leadership, National Farmers Union (NFU), the nation’s oldest general farm organization, reiterated its misgivings about the proposal and urged Congress to take “decisive action” to halt the process.
NFU President Roger Johnson issued the following statement:
“NIFA and ERS support critically important research that ensures the economic and environmental sustainability of family farm agriculture. The USDA’s haphazard process to relocate and reorganize these agencies has lacked meaningful public input and is already disrupting operations. Should the move continue as planned, we are worried that it will further undermine the agencies’ fundamental mission.
“Again and again, National Farmers Union and other stakeholders have voiced concerns about the potential implications of the move, yet the USDA has failed to provide a cost-benefit analysis to alleviate those concerns. Barring adequate justification, this move should not occur. We urge Congress to act quickly and decisively to prevent the proposal from moving forward.”
National Farmers Union advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. We envision a world in which farm families and their communities are respected, valued, and enjoy economic prosperity and social justice.