WASHINGTON (October 21, 2019)—At a hearing last week, USDA REE Deputy Under Secretary Scott Hutchins repeatedly deflected questions about the consequences of the relocation of the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food & Agriculture. A staggering 75 percent of staff have left the two agencies to date, delaying dozens of critical reports including those on the opioid epidemic, veterans’ diets, and international trade markets. The disruptions have also prevented research dollars from reaching the nation’s premier research institutions.
Below is a statement by AFGE, ASA, NFU, NSAC and UCS:
“The harm done to American farmers, rural America, and the agricultural economy at the hands of USDA is deeply troubling, but not irreversible. Many House and Senate appropriators have for months stood in strong, unified, and outright opposition to the relocation. We stand firmly with that position in support of farmers, consumers, and science-based agriculture research made possible by the hard-working employees at ERS and NIFA. All individuals and organizations who rely on agricultural research and economics—and support good government—should join us.”