Hoeven Statement Following First Meeting of ND Working Group Developing Bid for ND to Host ERS & NIFA Locations

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 released the following statement after his office organized 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 consortium is being led by the Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Association, North Dakota Department of Commerce, North Dakota State University (NDSU) and the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce.

“We’ve put together a great team to develop and submit a bid for Fargo to host new ERS and NIFA locations,” said Hoeven. “USDA’s goals for the relocation are to make these agencies more efficient and effective, while improving customer service for farmers and ranchers. The working group is putting together a proposal to make the case to USDA that Fargo is the right place to locate ERS and NIFA.” 

USDA will evaluate proposals based on four criteria: logistics, workforce, community/quality of life and capital costs. The consortium determined that Fargo is well-positioned to put forward a strong proposal and will meet next week to review a draft proposal. The deadline for submitting a proposal to USDA is September 14.

Today’s meeting included 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 Executive Vice President of Business Development Mark Vaux, 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.