Critics Of Relocating USDA Research Agencies Point To Brain Drain

This June the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced its plan to move two of its research agencies out of Washington, D.C., to the Kansas City area. Most of the people working at the agencies have since quit, leaving gaping holes in critical divisions. Researchers warn that the agency upheaval will starve farmers, policymakers and ultimately consumers out of the best possible information about food and the business of growing it. USDA is taking the Economic Research Service and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, splitting them up, and moving most of the workforce halfway across the country. ERS tracks the vast, global food production business, and its data drive markets and investments that shape agriculture. NIFA funds agricultural research at universities across the country. Both agencies are widely considered the best in the world at what they do, but they have also come in for some rough treatment under the Trump administration, according to Laura Dodson, an ERS

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