Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has proposed moving the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Economic Research Service (ERS) out of the Washington, D.C. area, in addition to shifting authority over ERS from the Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics to the Office of the Secretary.
Please help us resist these changes by asking your congressional members to co-sponsor the Agriculture Research Integrity Act (ARIA), which protects the important research carried out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
In the House:
Current co-sponsors of the Agriculture Research Integrity Act (HR 1221) include: Rep. Hoyer, Steny H. [D-MD-5], Rep. Bishop, Sanford D., Jr. [D-GA-2], Rep. DeLauro, Rosa L. [D-CT-3], Rep. Pocan, Mark [D-WI-2], Rep. Lee, Barbara [D-CA-13], Rep. McCollum, Betty [D-MN-4], Rep. Cuellar, Henry [D-TX-28], Rep. McGovern, James P. [D-MA-2], Rep. Fudge, Marcia L. [D-OH-11], Rep. Carbajal, Salud O. [D-CA-24], Rep. Panetta, Jimmy [D-CA-20], Rep. Kuster, Ann M. [D-NH-2], Rep. Norton, Eleanor Holmes [D-DC-At Large], Rep. Slotkin, Elissa [D-MI-8], Rep. Welch, Peter [D-VT-At Large], and Rep. Larsen, Rick [D-WA-2].
In the Senate:
Current co-sponsors of the Senate version of te Agriculture Research Integrity Act include: Senators Van Hollen [D-MD], Cardin [D-MD], Kaine [D-VA], Warner [D-VA], Leahy [D-VT], Merkley [D-OR], Murray [D-WA], and Brown [D-OH].
If your members are listed above, be sure to thank them! If they’re not listed, find your members through this directory for the House of Representatives and this directory for the Senate and give them a call to ask for their co-sponsorship.
The scientific research that US agriculture depends on cannot be hollowed out when we need it the most. The proposed relocation and reorganization of NIFA and ERS unnecessarily threatens the integrity and robustness of this critical work. Over 80 current and former university agricultural administration leaders and former USDA chief scientists have voiced their opposition to this proposal, as have over 100 organizations.
These bills would require the USDA to keep the agencies within the capital area and keep ERS within the purview of the Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics so it can remain free of even the appearance of political influence.
Help us resist these changes to agricultural research by calling for support of the Agriculture Research Integrity Act today!
If you contact your member, please document your calls and emails here so that the coalition can track progress.
A version of this post was first published by Friends of Agricultural Statistics and Analysis.