USDA research agencies not coming to Indiana like state leaders hoped

Two research agencies within the Department of Agriculture won’t be coming to Indiana.

Indiana was one of three finalists to be the new home of USDA’s Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, a support agency for scientific food research. But the two agencies will instead move to the Kansas City area, bringing more than 500 jobs with them.

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says moving the two agencies out of Washington will save 20-million dollars a year, while giving them easy access to skilled workers with agricultural backgrounds. It also puts them in easy reach of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank, which is responsible for five farm-heavy states and parts of two others.

Indiana and North Carolina were named finalists last month, nine months after more than 100 cities in 35 states made pitches to land the agencies. Governor Holcomb says he’s proud of the effort Indiana put into its proposal, but calls Kansas City’s winning bid “pretty financially sweet.” State and local governments in Kansas and Missouri offered 26-million dollars in incentives.

Holcomb says Indiana is putting plenty of other wins on the board. He says the state has set records for new job commitments two years in a row, and tripled domestic and foreign investment.