Washington, DC – Orlando F. McMeans, Chair of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities' Board on Agriculture Assembly (BAA) and Vice President for Research and Public Service at West Virginia State University, today issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture's proposal to move its National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Economic Research Service (ERS) out of Washington, DC metro area.
“The Board on Agriculture Assembly
of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities appreciates Secretary Perdue’s strong commitment to rural America and his ongoing efforts to streamline USDA and bring its programs and services closer to customers. However, we are concerned with the proposed move of NIFA and ERS outside of the D.C. metro area. In particular, moving NIFA – the premier agricultural science entity in the world and the linchpin of the 156-year agricultural research, education, and extension partnership between the federal government and the land-grant university system – raises important questions that need to be addressed before further executive action is taken.”