Hoeven Forms ND Working Group to Develop Bid to Host New ERS & NIFA Locations

Group to Hold First Meeting on Wednesday

FARGO, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of both the Senate Agriculture Committee and the Farm Bill conference committee, today announced that he has formed a working group to develop a proposal for North Dakota to host new locations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The group will meet Wednesday at 10 am CT in Senator Hoeven’s Fargo Office to begin the process of developing a proposal.

The working group includes North Dakota State University (NDSU) President Dean Bresciani, NDSU VP of Agricultural Affairs Ken Grafton, North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Jay Schuler, Bank of North Dakota Business Banker Joel Erickson, City of Fargo Director of Strategic Planning and Research Jim Gilmore, Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Joe Raso, Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Craig Whitney and representatives from Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s office and Congressman Kevin Cramer’s office.

“As a leading agriculture state and home to NDSU, a world-class land-grant and agriculture research institution, North Dakota is a prime candidate to host ERS and NIFA,” said Hoeven. “This working group will ensure that we put forward the strongest possible proposal and highlight how North Dakota can help accomplish USDA’s goals to make these agencies more efficient and effective, and to improve customer service so these programs work well for farmers and ranchers.” 

On August 10, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the reorganization plan, which includes moving the two agencies outside of the Washington, D.C. area. States and localities have until September 14 to submit a letter of interest. Hoeven has already spoken with Stephen Censky, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, about the reorganization plan. As chairman of the Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven will work with Perdue, Censky and other USDA officials to ensure the agency accomplishes its goals for the reorganization.