WASHINGTON — After 136 applications were submitted to the USDA, the Kansas City Area was chosen as a finalist in the search for a new home for the USDA’s ) Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

According to a news release, Secretary Sonny Perdue announced on Friday that three areas are finalists for the relocation. Perdue stated, “This short list of locations took into consideration critical factors required to uphold the important missions of ERS and NIFA. We also considered factors important to our employees, such as quality of life. Relocation will help ensure USDA is the most effective, most efficient, and most customer-focused agency in the federal government, allowing us to be closer to our stakeholders and move our resources closer to our customers. Our commitment to the public and our employees is to continue to be transparent as we proceed with our analysis.”

Other areas that also made it as finalists are multiple locations in Indiana and the Research Triangle Region in North Carolina. St. Louis, Missouri and Madison, Wisconsin will serve as a backup location in case the three finalists are unable to house the new facilities. The USDA took into consideration Quality of Life, Costs, Workforce, and Logistics into consideration when choosing the finalists.

The USDA did not set a date as to when the final relocation for the ERS and NIFA will be chosen.