NFU: Hearing Highlights Impacts of ERS, NIFA Relocation on Family Farmers, Consumers, Researchers
WASHINGTON – Highlighting concerns among legislators, farmers, rural residents, consumers and researchers for the proposed reorganization and relocation of two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) research agencies, the U.S. House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee today held a hearing to examine the impacts of such a move. USDA has initiated a process to move the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) outside of the nation’s capital and place the ERS under the purview of the Chief Economist.
On the heels of the hearing, National Farmers Union (NFU), the nation’s second largest general farm organization and a strong proponent of public agricultural research, urged USDA to stop the move. NFU sent a letter to USDA in September highlighting the NFU Board of Directors opposition the ERS and NIFA proposal.
NFU Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Communications Rob Larew issued the following statement shortly after the hearing:
“ERS and NIFA play an important role in helping family farmers and ranchers improve productivity, steward our nation’s natural resources, and access global markets and trade. As the economic and environmental challenges facing family farmers and ranchers mount, it is critical that USDA prioritize the work of the agencies and maintain the integrity and impact of public research. Farmers Union urges USDA to end the relocation of these two important agencies.”
National Farmers Union advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. We envision a world in which farm families and their communities are respected, valued, and enjoy economic prosperity and social justice.