Finding New Homes for ERS, NIFA

Published online: Oct 31, 2018 Articles
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Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture 

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced on Oct. 22 that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has received 136 expressions of interest from parties in 35 states interested in becoming the new homes of the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). In August, Perdue announced that most ERS and NIFA personnel would be moving to outside the National Capital Region by the end of 2019 and invited interested parties to submit proposals, with a deadline which had been extended to October 15, 2018. USDA intends to select the new location or locations by January 2019 and will retain a consultant with expertise in relocations.

“The interest from across the country has been overwhelming as localities, universities, private entities, and elected officials realize the potential for their communities in become the new home for these two agencies,” Perdue said. “It is an old saying that not all wisdom resides in Washington, D.C., but it is gratifying to see so many folks step forward wanting to prove that to be the case. We look forward to working with Ernst & Young in examining all of the proposals and selecting the new locations.”

States represented in the expressions of interest are: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The entities expressing interest in hosting ERS and NIFA include educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, state development agencies, county development agencies, municipalities, and for-profit entities. USDA has also received letters of support from a number of governors, members of Congress, farm-related organizations, and state and local officials. It is possible that ERS and NIFA will be co-located when their new homes are found. A yet-to-be-determined amount of staff from the two agencies will remain in the National Capital Region.

USDA is undertaking the relocations for a variety of reasons. The move will place important USDA resources closer to many stakeholders, most of whom live and work far from the Washington, D.C. area. Additionally, taxpayers will realize significant savings on employment costs and rent, which will allow more employees to be retained in the long run, even in the face of tightening budgets. Finally, the plan will improve USDA’s ability to attract and retain highly qualified staff with training and interests in agriculture, many of whom come from land-grant universities.

Under the plan, no ERS or NIFA employees will be involuntarily separated. Every employee who wants to continue working will have an opportunity to do so, although that will mean moving to a new location for most. Employees will be offered relocation assistance and will receive the same base pay as before, and the locality pay for the new location. For those who are interested, USDA is seeking approval from the Office of Personnel Management and the Office of Management and Budget for both Voluntary Early Retirement Authority and Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments.

Perdue also noted that 91 percent of USDA’s approximately 108,000 employees currently work outside of the Washington, D.C. region.

As part of the changes, ERS will be aligned with the Office of the Chief Economist under the Office of the Secretary. This represents a return to its previous positioning when ERS was aligned under the Assistant Secretary for Economics within the Office of the Secretary.

Perdue previously announced other significant reorganizations at USDA. In May 2017, USDA created the first-ever Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs and reconstituted and renamed the new Farm Production and Conservation mission area, among other realignments. In addition, in September 2017, Perdue realigned a number of offices to improve customer service and maximize efficiency. Those actions involved innovation, consolidation, and the rearrangement of certain offices into more logical organizational reporting structures.

136 Expressions of Interest

State

Location

Applicant(s)

AL

Birmingham

City of Birmingham; University of Alabama at Birmingham; Auburn University; Tuskegee University; Alabama A&M University; Economic Development Association of Alabama

AL

Auburn University

Auburn Research and Technology Foundation/Auburn University

AL

Shelby County

City of Hoover, Shelby County, 58 INC. – the nonprofit economic coalition of Shelby County, the Birmingham Business Alliance, Alabama Power Company, Harbert Realty Services, and Select Income REIT / RMR Group

AR

Arkansas

Arkansas Economic Development Commission

AR

Jonesboro/Northeast Arkansas Coalition

City of Jonesboro, Craighead County, Jonesboro Unlimited, Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Northeast Arkansas Economic Development Coalition

AZ

Tempe

Arizona Commerce Authority; Arizona State University and the Arizona Department of Agriculture

AZ

Tucson

Arizona Commerce Authority; Sun Corridor Inc., the University of Arizona and the Arizona Department of Agriculture

CA

Folsom

Newmark Knight Frank

CA

Greater Sacramento

Greater Sacramento Economic Council

CA

Rancho Cordova

Newmark Knight Frank

CA

Rancho Cordova

Newmark Knight Frank

CA

Sacramento

Newmark Knight Frank

CA

Lucerne

The Lucerne Area Revitalization Association

CO

Denver

Cottonwood Management Company

CO

Denver

Forest City Trust

CO

Denver

Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation

CO

Aurora

Aurora Economic Development Council

DE

Newark

University of Delaware

FL

City of Newberry

City of Newberry

GA

Tifton County

Tifton County Development Authority and Georgia Department of Economic Development

GA

Griffin Spalding County

Griffin-Spalding Development Authority, Rooker, UGA and Georgia Department of Economic Development

GA

Athens-Clarke County

Athens-Clarke County Development Authority and Nichols Land & Investment Company and Georgia Department of Economic Development

GA

Statesboro-Bulloch County

Development Authority of Bulloch County and Georgia Department of Economic Development

IA

Ankeny

City of Ankeny/ Greater Des Moines Partnership, Cultivation Corridor, and the Iowa Economic Development Authority

IA

West Des Moines

City of West Des Moines

IA

Ames

City of Ames and Iowa State University

IA

Council Bluffs

Advance Southwest Iowa Corporation; City of Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County

IA

Des Moines

City of Des Moines; Greater Des Moines Partnership

IA and IL

Quad Cities

Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce

IL

Algonquin

Village of Algonquin

IL

Greater Peoria

Greater Peoria Economic Development Council

IL

Peoria

Maloof Commercial Real Estate

IL

Warrenville

NAI Hiffman

IL

Schaumburg

Village of Schaumburg

IL

DuPage County

economic development agency for DuPage County, Illinois

IL

Kane County

Kane County

IL

Decatur

Economic Development Corp. of Decatur & Macon County

IL

Orland Park

Orland Park, State of Illinois, Will County, Illinois Intersect and the Will County Center for Economic Development

IL

Huntley

Village of Huntley

IL

Des Plaines

City of Des Plaines

IL

Champaign

Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Parkland College, the University of Illinois Research Park, LLC, and Champaign and Urbana.

IL

Barrington

Village of Barrington; Bourns Inc

IN

Multiple

Indiana Economic Development Corporation; AgriNovus Indiana, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) and Purdue University

IN

Evansville

Hahn Kiefer Real Estate Services

KS

Wichita

The Greater Wichita Partnership

KS

Salina

Salina Community Economic Development Organization in cooperation with the City of Salina, Saline County, the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce, Salina Airport Authority and numerous private sector developers/realtors along with representatives from the Kansas State Polytechnic Campus, Kansas Wesleyan University and Salina Area Technical College.

KS

Salina

Salina Community Economic Development Organization

KS

Manhattan

Knowledge Based Economic Development, LLC/university and community economic development partnership

KS

Lawrence

Lawrence Chamber & Economic Development Corporation, the City of Lawrence, Douglas County, and the Bioscience & Technology Business Center (BTBC), has combined efforts with the University of Kansas and the KU Endowment Association

KS and MO

Greater Kansas City Region

The Kansas City Area Development Council

LA

Baton Rouge

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC), along with partners Louisiana Economic Development (LED), Baton Rouge Area Foundation(BRAF), Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry (LDAF), Louisiana State University (LSU), and Southern University and & Mechanical College (SUAM) Agricultural

MD

Salisbury

Wicomico Economic Development

MD

Montgomery County

Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation

MD

Hanover

Tritower Financial Group

MD

Somerset County

Somerset County Economic Development Commission

MD

Frederick County

Frederick County Office of Economic Development

MD

Laurel

Newtower Trust Company

MD

Centreville

town of Centerville; Emory Properties

MD

Caroline County

Caroline County

MD

Queen Anne

KRM Development Corp, Queen Anne County Economic Development

MD

Kent County

KRM Development Corp, Kent County Economic Development

MD

College Park

University of Maryland College Park

MD

Baltimore

Cushmanwakefield

MD

Charles County

Charles County Economic Development Department

MI

East Lansing

Michigan State University, State of Michigan, Capital Region International Airport (LAN), Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau, Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan Farm Bureau

MN

Shakopee

The Opus Group

MN

Minneapolis

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership (GREATER MSP), and the Minnesota Food and Agriculture Initiative

MN

Falcon Heights

Buhl Investors

MO

Springfield

Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce

MO

Kansas City

HPI Group

MO

KANSAS CITY

805 Penn

MO

St. Louis

A consortium of regional leaders across six counties in Missouri and Illinois; State of Missouri and Missouri’s Departments of Agriculture, Economic Development, and Workforce Development, as well as the Missouri Partnership

MO

Multiple

State of Missouri; Missouri Partnership

MO

St Joseph

St Joseph Economic Development Partnership

MT

Missoula

Missoula Economic Partnership

MT

Bozeman

The Montana State University Innovation Campus

MT

Billings

Big Sky Economic Development;WC Commercial, LLC

NC

Greensboro-High Point

Guilford County Economic Development Alliance

NC

Kannapolis

The North Carolina Research Campus; the city of Kannapolis, Cabarrus and Rowan Counties, and the state of North Carolina

NC

Research Triangle Region

Wake County, Durham County and Research Triangle Park

NC

Chapel Hill

State Employee Credit Union

ND

Fargo

Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, the ND Department of Commerce, Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce,Bank of North Dakota, City of Fargo, NDSU

NE

Omaha

SPW Partners G and S and CBRE MEGA

NE

Sidney

City of Sidney and Cheyenne County, Nebraska Economic Development Partnership

NE

Lincoln

The Nebraska consortium, led by Governor Pete Ricketts and former USDA Secretary Mike Johanns and including the State of Nebraska, University of Nebraska system, City of Lincoln, Nebraska Innovation Campus Development Corporation, Nebraska Department of Economic Development, Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Nebraska Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, Omaha Chamber of Commerce, and public and private business and

NY

Greater Rochester

FLX Food and Beverage Consortium is led by Greater Rochester Enterprise, a not-for-profit economic development organization. Members of the Consortium include Cornell University and the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; the Cornell Agriculture and Technology Farm; Empire State Development; the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets; the New York State Governor’s Office; Rochester Institute of Technology; Tompkins County Area Development; the University of Rochester; and Wegmans Food Markets Inc.

OH

Akron

County of Summit

OH

Ashtabula County

Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County

OH

Darke County

Darke County Commissioners

OH

Geauga County

Geauga County Department of Development

OH

Madison Village

Administrator Madison Village

OH

Middlefield Village

Village of Middlefield

OH

Portage County

Portage Development Board

OH

Twinsburg

City of Twinsburg

OH

Warren

Cafaro Company

OH

Youngstown

Western Reserve Port Authority; City of Waren and Howland Township

OK

Pawnee County

Pawnee County Economic Development Foundation

OK

Stillwater

Stillwater Chamber of Commerce partnered with Oklahoma State University, Langston University, and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce

OK

Tulsa

GEORGE KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION

PA

Fayette County

County Commissioner

PA

Hanover Township

Private Citizen

PA

Clarion

Clarion Trinity Development Co

PA

Clarion

Miles Brothers

SC

Columbia

State of South Carolina (including; South Carolina Department of Commerce, Clemson University, South Carolina Department of Agriculture, and Richland County’s Economic Development Office)

SD

Brookings

City of Brookings; Brookings Economic Development Corporation

SD

Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls Development Foundation; South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development City of Sioux Falls

TN

Knoxville

University of Tennessee, Knoxville/University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTK/UTIA); University of Tennessee, Martin (UTM); Tennessee State University (TSU); and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)

TN

Memphis

Agricenter International

TX

Dallas

HPI Group

TX

College Station

Texas A&M AgriLife Research

TX

Amarillo/Lubbock

Amarillo Economic Development Corporation; Lubbock Economic Development Alliance

TX

San Marcos

Greater San Marcos Partnership; San Marcos, Hays County and Texas State University

UT

Tooele County

Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Tooele County, Tooele City, Utah State University, and the Economic Development Corporation of Utah

VA

Spotsylvania County

County of Spotsylvania

VA

Caroline County

Caroline County Department of Economic Development

VA

Charlottesville

University of Virginia Foundation

VA

Greene County

County of Greene; Central Virginia Partnership in Economic Development; Virginia Economic Development Partnership; Fried Companies, Inc; Jones Lang LaSalle

VA

Loudoun County

Loudoun County, Virginia Economic Development

VA

Prince William

Prince William County Department of Economic Development

VA

Richmond

The Riverstone Group, LLC

VA

Richmond

Thompson

VA

Petersburg

Virginia State University and the Petersburg metropolitan region

VA

Stafford County

Stafford County Department of Economic Development & Tourism

VA

Danville

City of Danville

VA

Winchester

City of Winchester

VA

Fredericksburg

City Of Fredricksburg

VA

Spotsylvania County

The Vakos Companies

VA

Bristol

Washington County; One Alpha Place, LLC; Callebs Commercial Realty and Jones Lang LaSalle

VA

Madison County

Madison County; The Lester Group

VA

Spotsylvania

Gutierrez

VA

Fredericksburg

The Cafaro Company

WA

Tri-Cities

Tri-Cities

WI

Madison

City of Madison, the University of Wisconsin–Madison College of Agricultural & Life Sciences (CALS), University of Wisconsin–Madison Office of University Relations, University Research Park, State of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, and 910 Mayer, LLC

WV

Fairmont

High Technology Foundation

WV

Harrison County

Harrison County Economic Development Corporation

WY

Cheyenne/Laramie

Cheyenne, Laramie and University of Wyoming