By Eric Bohl – MO Farm Bureau

After beating out 135 other applicants, Kansas City is slated to become the new home to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The move will bring about 550 jobs to the Kansas City region.

Missouri Farm Bureau was an early and vocal supporter of Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s proposal to move these agencies closer to the people they serve. Both Kansas City and St. Louis made strong bids, with St. Louis making the shortlist of three alternate sites.

When announcing the move, Secretary Perdue praised the Kansas City area for its affordable housing, easy commutes and extraordinary living conditions. It’s expected the move to the heartland will save the USDA some $300 million savings over the course of a 15-year lease.