Brain Drain Plagues Key USDA Research Service After Trump Administration Orders Relocation

When the Trump administration relocated the United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service to the Kansas City area last year, about two-thirds of its employees quit their jobs rather than move.

Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, called the mass resignations a “wonderful way to streamline the government.”

These departures have stimulated a “brain drain” within an influential federal agency that “directly or indirectly effects” everyone in the U.S, historian Jamie Pietruska says.

The ERS, a nonpartisan federal research agency, provides objective economic data and analysis on farming forecasts, crop and livestock predictions, the environment, food consumption and the consumer price index for food. Their forecasts and reports are “heavily relied on” in the U.S. government, Pietruska says.

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