Hoeven: North Dakota Should Put Forward Bid to Host New ERS & NIFA Locations

Senator Will Form Working Group to Develop & Submit Proposal to USDA

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of both the Agriculture Committee and the Farm Bill conference committee, today said North Dakota should put forward a bid to host the new locations for the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). This follows Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s announcement of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) reorganization plan, which includes moving these two agencies outside of the Washington, D.C. area. Hoeven will begin efforts to put together a working group to develop and submit a proposal to USDA to host the new sites. States and localities have 30 days to submit a letter of interest.

“North Dakota is an agriculture powerhouse,” said Hoeven. “Not only are we the top producer in a wide variety of commodities, we are home to North Dakota State University, a world-class land-grant and agriculture research institution. Our state has the knowledge, expertise and business climate that can strengthen the services provided by ERS and NIFA and deliver better results for our ag producers. We can and should pull together a proposal to move some or all of these two agencies to North Dakota, and we will form a working group to do just that.”  

Hoeven has already spoken with Stephen Censky, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, about the reorganization plan. The goal is to enhance the USDA’s efficiency, effectiveness and customer service, saving taxpayer dollars and ensuring the department works well for farmers and ranchers. As chairman of the Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven will work with Perdue, Censky and other USDA officials to make sure these goals are accomplished.