OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture, Blayne Arthur, announced her support for the location move of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Economic Research Service to the Kansas City area.

In August, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the plan to relocate the two USDA subagencies: NIFA, which funds agriculture-based science to solve societal challenges and the ERS, a statistical agency that predicts trends and emerging issues regarding agriculture.

This decision was part of the reorganization plan announced by Sec. Purdue in an effort to improve effectiveness, efficiency and customer service.

“I am extremely pleased with Sec. Purdue’s decision to move the ERS and NIFA into the midst of the research, farm, business and financial customers they serve,” said Sec. Arthur. “These agencies will be more centrally located and more easily accessible for stakeholders.”

Sec. Arthur mentioned the Kansas City area is central to not only the country but also 13 land grant universities. This is estimated to save nearly $20 million a year on employment and rent — $300 million over the next 15 years.

“When you pair extensive research with the agriculturists who have rich experience in the industry, you bring life to the results,” Sec. Arthur said. “We welcome the ERS and NIFA to the Midwest and look forward to seeing the benefits of having these resources closer to their customers.”