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Federal Employees Protest Cost-Cutting Agriculture Department Relocation Plans

Federal Employees Protest Cost-Cutting Agriculture Department Relocation Plans

Swamp creatures unhappy that the swamp is being drained.

Members of the American Federation of Government Employees staged a protest over the announcement of relocation plans of two Agriculture Department research agencies.

The employees turned their backs on Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue during his review of the relocation plans.

Perdue announced Thursday that two of the Department of Agriculture’s research agencies, the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, will be relocated to be closer to major farming regions, according to Politico.

While Perdue has justified the relocation as a way to improve customer service and save taxpayers up to $20 million per year, some ERS employees have said it is a political move, according to the publication.

Specifically, some ERS staff have expressed suspicions the relocation is an attempt to shrink the agency and weaken its ability to conduct research that does not align with the Trump administration’s policy agenda.

In other words, the swamp creatures are unhappy that the administration has taken a step to drain the swamp.

On the other hand, representatives in both Kansas and Missouri are pleased with the developments.

A two-state proposal from Kansas and Missouri beat out 135 other bids to become new headquarters for the Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), two of the USDA’s principal research agencies.

It’s a major win for policymakers in both states, who worked closely on a collaborative bid, and a sign that the long-term border tensions on economic development may be easing.

“It was a united effort, so that really helped,” Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, the Senate Agriculture chairman, said earlier in the week before the USDA officially selected Kansas City over other finalists, locations in North Carolina and Indiana.

“I am committed to ensuring we continue to support and strengthen the research mission that our US producers rely on. Kansas City is an obvious choice, as many other USDA agencies in the area partner closely with stakeholders,” Roberts said in a statement Thursday.

During his announcement, Perdue stressed that the relocation was a strategic, long-term decision for the USDA.

He touted Kansas City as a booming city with a strong agriculture sector and close proximity to land grant universities that work closely with [National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)], but he acknowledged the move would be difficult for some employees.

“I understand the decision creates personal disruption for some of you as well as your families,” he said.

The USDA will be pairing employees with relocation specialists to help the employees who choose to remain with the agency to navigate the move.

In a phone call with reporters, Perdue downplayed the backlash from employees and said current employees who don’t want to move to Kansas City employees will have opportunities to find other jobs in the federal government.

Many American taxpayers are applauding the move, and indicate the employees’ behavior was shameful.


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Turning your back is something a spoiled, entitled adolescent would do. The Dept. of Agriculture employees are upset that the federal government is seeking to decrease travel expenses. How dare they reduce the carbon footprint in my own backyard?! Losers. Good riddance.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Sally MJ. | June 14, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    I object on the behalf of spoiled, entitled adolescents who have done nothing to deserve being compared to these leftist swamp creature morons.

    NGAREADER in reply to Sally MJ. | June 14, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Another win. Next, fire all those that ID’ed themselves as slackers.
    Next, the DOE.
    Hopefully, all of these departments are being reviewed to see where they can best serve their mission.

    C. Lashown in reply to Sally MJ. | June 15, 2019 at 9:35 am

    re: “Turning your back is something a spoiled, entitled adolescent would do.”

    …or a ‘unionized’ government employee would do, though there is really not that much difference. President Trump would do America a HUGE favor by kicking the unions out of the Federal Government. They do little but give their dues to Democrats and insure that deadbeats cannot be fired.

LeftWingLock | June 14, 2019 at 3:39 pm

Just another reason why there should not be government unions.

LOL – this was pathetic! Next I expect them to stamp their widdo feets and hold their breaths until they turn blue!

And they don’t have to move at all, I’m sure there are plenty of qualified candidates in KC that would love to have those jobs.

How about a little Midwest dairy farm cheese with that whine!!!

I remember one time my employer wanted me to relocate. I didn’t want to move to the shit-hole state (California) so I said “no thanks” took the severance package and stayed in Texas. It happens to people all the time. Big deal. Move on.

PrincetonAl | June 14, 2019 at 4:11 pm

To borrow a phrase – Karma, it’s whats for dinner

DC and states passes regulations that shut down businesses causing them to relocate or go under … and the same result for their employees.

Employees who work hard and have mortgages and did nothing wrong.

Enjoy the taste of your own meal.

They don’t want to move to some hicktown?

Fine. Relocate them to Saudi Arabia.

    MarkJ in reply to Eric R.. | June 14, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    Well, I’m feeling a bit more forgiving. We can keep them in the U.S.–just move them to Death Valley.

    C. Lashown in reply to Eric R.. | June 15, 2019 at 9:56 am

    Saudi Arabia is a dangerous country. I suggest South Africa instead, someplace past residents of DC could feel comfortable and could look back on their time in DC as a taste of heaven!

    Actually, America could move many if it’s 2nd tier government departments to Africa and save money while at the same time block the Chinese from taking over. Just give the employees free Skype accounts.

    This might also be the time to consider ‘slave reparations’. Apparently the deaths of several of my ancestors wasn’t enough during the Civil War to affect reparations, so give everyone their monies in a currency from Africa and ship them back free of charge to the country of their choice. Zimbabwe, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria are all supposed to be pleasant from what I understand.

Poor things, don’t want to have to live next door to a Trump voter or eat at Chick-fil-A.

Mark Michael | June 14, 2019 at 4:58 pm

When this move first made the news, I spent a little time looking into the 2 organizations. After thinking about it awhile, it dawned on me that the need for any federal agricultural agency has completely outlived its usefulness. The entire federal Ag. Dept. should be phased out – abolished in X years.

We have land grant public universities that were set up in the 19th Century with a goal of providing agricultural science to our many farmers (70% or 80% of our population lived in & around farms, doing farm work). Agriculture departments were a big fixture on the land grant schools: U. of Minnesota, U. of Wisconsin, The Ohio State U, etc. Those organizations – along with others – can provide any useful R&D, statistics, advice the farm industry needs today.

Half these USDA employees look like they know more about eating food than how it’s grown.

Orwellington | June 14, 2019 at 5:29 pm

Turned their backs did they? I can’t help thinking they’ll all be looking for new jobs very soon.

I do hope the relocation terms are bare-bones and the time window before the job is filled externally is short. While they’re stamping their feet, the jobs can be filled and life can go on.

Time to fire them for cause. Then, you deny Unemployment for insubordination. Done, and done.

Gremlin1974 | June 14, 2019 at 6:07 pm

Yea, God forbid that the Agriculture Department facilities be located near where the Agriculture actually happens.

Just more proof that these people are toddlers (with sincere apologies to toddlers) and not adults.

Gremlin1974 | June 14, 2019 at 6:10 pm

Who wants to bet those red stickers they are wearing violate policy?

healthguyfsu | June 14, 2019 at 6:16 pm

I hope they stage a walk out….and just keep on walkin’

They do more climate studies and such junk science than agriculture anyway.

One picture is worth a thousand words.

This is EXACTLY why (1) we should boot the rotten a-holes in this photo out of Washington, (2) revert to the old civil servant days of low-pay, low-stress job. Outsource the stress to the private sector, where it will get done right and cheaper.


They would really hace a conniption fir if some of those offices were repatriated tp the most desolate areas of Wyoming. There would also be no union protectors from keeping them from getting fired.

Oh please, go on strike.

The jobs are moving, you do not have to go
– smaller organization
– more responsive employees

Of course the department has more employees than farmers

It’s about time some of the government was relocated out of West Virginia.

“Your job is being moved, should you decide to occupy it…”

I sent Trump the suggestion to move as many departments out of DC as possible. Put them in big city shitholes.
What I see in this report confirms my thoughts of the results I expected if he did move them out. My next thought was after the snowflakes ranted and raved they’d refuse to move and would therefore be let go.

First of all, I can understand why the DoA employees would bee upset. Very, very few people want to uproot their lives to move halfway across the country to follow their current employer.

On the other hand, neither of these agencies actually do any field work. The ERS is a social science research agency. It can do its job from any location which has phones and the internet. It has fifty state offices, none of which are being closed. The NIFA is essentially a funding center for a multitude of programs. It too, can perform its function from any location which has mail service, phone service and the internet. I find no listed facilities for it, outside of D.C. None of the DC employees of either of these agencies has any need to travel anywhere in the country.

Whether this was strictly an economic decision or was also political, is unclear. But, it does begin to break-up the DC agency clique and bring federal taxpayer jobs to middle Americ. Which can only be a good thing.

    Liz in reply to Mac45. | June 14, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    Moving in the private sector or even in the military sector is common. If you don’t like the move, then don’t go.

    Just because an office can do the job via the internet doesn’t mean that it should. Visiting the client is important, very important.

    I worked as an auditor and the client could have sent the information to us, but that hands on exposure sure helps in determining if the client is telling a lie. My ability to read upside down was very useful and caught a few significant lies.

      Mac45 in reply to Liz. | June 15, 2019 at 12:21 am

      Liz, you miss the point I was trying to make.

      First, just because an employer chooses to move does not make this a good thing. Look at the auto industry, as well as Carrier AC and a number of other large employers in this country. They moved whole factories out of the country. And, it destroyed communities.

      Second, my point was that neither of these agencies had to be located in DC. Their missions are such that they do not have to travel around the country for any reason. They can do their jobs as well in Kansas City as they can in DC. So, moving them really doesn’t hinder their ability to perform their mission. However, unless a significant number of current employees choose to move, the agencies will be starting over with an almost completely new workforce which has to be trained and which has no experience in the mission of the agencies involved.

      Now the ERS has an office in each state. So, no one from headquarters really has to leave the office to perform their jobs. The NIFA is pretty much limited to handing our funding for established programs, which are run by the private sector, and hand out grants for future programs. This is normally done remotely from DC. So, why are we moving the agencies? I suspect that it has more to do with politics than with expediency.

        Brave Sir Robbin in reply to Mac45. | June 15, 2019 at 4:05 pm

        Mac45: Reforming a federal agency is notoriously difficult because of the civil service and its rules. The best way to clean house is to move the broken component of the agency. A lot of people will simply not go. Life in DC is just too good. This exodus allows the agency to then renew via re-staffing. I suspect Purdue decided these offices were more or less broken, and the only way to fix them is to move them. The agency was probably resistant to reform and change, and since you cannot really fire the resistance, there are few alternatives which normally inconveniences everyone, even those who are trying to do a go job and be compliant. The employee’s behavior shown in this post reinforces my opinion.

        Is it politics? No, it’s called a change in administration and an agency that will not conform to the program and agenda of the new administration. The Deep state does not get to disregard the will of the people a rule for its own delight. More of this needs to happen.

          This quite possibly the most ridiculous thing that I have ever heard.

          If a government bureau, division or agency is not performing well, then disciplinary action can be taken against employees who screw-up or do not perform up to reasonable standards. If the agency is bloated, reduce the staffing to a manageable level. What you do not do is to strip the agency of experienced staff unnecessarily. Why, you ask? Because new hires have to be trained. In many cases, employees have to have a certain level of experience in order to perform the mission of the agency. Now, in the case olf these two agencies, perhaps their mission is insignificant enough that failing to accomplish it will not have an significant effect on the nation. Now, in addition to that, how much is it going to cost to move the headquarters operation to KC? And, if the SecAg needs to meet face-to-face with the leadership of either or both of these agencies, how much is it going to cost to someone to travel to the meeting?

          Now, this is ALL politics. What the Administration is doing is punishing the employees by moving the headquarters to KC, for no real reason. It is also an intimidation move designed to scare other employees, without the Administration having to do the heavy lifting necessary to discipline its employees. Failure to meet reasonable standards, including failure to follow published directives, is grounds for disciplinary action. The argument that these gencies are being moved to be closer to agricultural operations is BS. There are no farms or agricultural colleges in Virginia or Maryland?

Look at the obnoxious and infantile antics of these bureaucrats. They’ve forgotten the “servant” part of the phrase “Public Servant,” and, they’ve forgotten who is paying their oversized paychecks.

Something is profoundly wrong when government workers evince such an attitude of adolescent entitlement. In the private sector, this stunt would’ve gotten them canned, and, rightfully so. But, of course, in government, there is never a scintilla of accountability demanded of the workers. Thus, their arrogance is totally enabled by their immunity from suffering any consequences.

    Firewatch in reply to guyjones. | June 16, 2019 at 10:22 am

    Stealing appears to be the only firing offence at the post office. The union gets all upset and it’s members slow down if that is even possible.

By turning their backsides to him they were showing him their best (and only) attribute. It’s a name for a donkey and they are one.

Hey there you ERS and NIFA employees…Guess What..????

You’re going to Kansas City…Kansas City here ya come !!!!

These professional government goof offs shouldn’t worry, KC is just as sophisticated and cosmopolitan a city as DC…
PLUS…KC has MUCH better BBQ….AND…KC has a MUCH, MUCH better pro football team !

    artichoke in reply to tgrondo. | June 16, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    If it’s not as sophisticated and cosmopolitan because the government isn’t there, well this is our effort to bring the sophistication of government out into America rather than keeping it all with DC.

    They’re public servants after all, eager to serve. This provides them a new opportunity to serve more holistically.

Brave Sir Robbin | June 16, 2019 at 11:19 am

This quite possibly the most ridiculous thing that I have ever heard.


If a government bureau, division or agency is not performing well, then disciplinary action can be taken against employees who screw-up or do not perform up to reasonable standards.


If the agency is bloated, reduce the staffing to a manageable level.


What you do not do is to strip the agency of experienced staff unnecessarily. Why, you ask? Because new hires have to be trained.


    artichoke in reply to Brave Sir Robbin. | June 16, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    It’s actually easy enough to purge these agencies of some of the worst performers. Do a straight RIF. That will be last in / first out. Who are the last in? Obama appointees.

    USE the civil service rules when they’re to your advantage. I wish Trump really wanted to reduce bloat, because he could take off a nice big slice and remove hardly any good people this way. “Gee I’m sorry we don’t have the money.”

Boo hoo…