After year-long wait, Newberry loses bid for USDA facility

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NEWBERRY, Fla. (WCJB)-- U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced Kansas City as the new location of its Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

The city of Newberry had also been a contender in the competition.

“Following a rigorous site selection process, the Kansas City Region provides a win win – maximizing our mission function by putting taxpayer savings into programmatic outputs and providing affordability, easy commutes, and extraordinary living for our employees,” said Secretary Perdue.

The USDA said the choice of Kansas City is expected to save nearly $300 million over a 15-year lease, or $20 million a year.

Newberry Mayor Jordan Marlowe responded to the decision on Facebook:

"Well, USDA selected Kansas City over Newberry. They’ll never know what they missed out on! It would have been nice to see DC invest in rural America. We will keep pushing them in that direction though!”

“We did not undertake these relocations lightly, and we are doing it to enhance long-term sustainability and success of these agencies,” said Secretary Perdue.