Rep. Marshall's remarks at USDA event in Kansas City
On Friday, November 15, 2019, U.S. Congressman Roger Marshall, M.D., joined USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and others in Kansas City for a tour and press conference at the new home of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Economic Research Service (ERS). Congressman Marshall delivered the following remarks at the event:
“Thank you, and good morning Mayor Lucas, Secretary Perdue, Governor Parson, and Senator Blunt.
Mr. Secretary, welcome to Kansas City and to the region soon to be known as the Agriculture Research Corridor of the world. Thank you Kansas City for turning out for this event. From Columbia, Missouri to Kansas City, to Manhattan to Lincoln, this area is already known as the animal health corridor, which accounts for over 50 percent of the total worldwide animal health, diagnostics, and pet food sales. This animal health corridor is made up of more than 300 companies.
This move places USDA’s ag research and NIFA and ERS in Kansas City, and with NBAF’s construction in Manhattan, this will truly be the world’s leading corridor in ag research. It places USDA research where it belongs, in the heart of the world’s animal industry and close to our land grant colleges which fuel and modernize the ag industry. Mr. Secretary, the leadership you and the Trump Administration showed in taking these agencies from the swamp to the people, getting government out to the people it serves, is an example of the innovative and service-minded thinking this Administration stands for.
The secretary knows I often brag, I represent the largest ag producing congressional district in America, a brag I’ll keep saying until someone knocks me off that hill. But today I want to emphasize how important agriculture is to the Kansas City Metro area. In the Kansas City Metro Area, agriculture, food, and food processing supports over 100,000 jobs, or 7.7 percent of the entire workforce in the area. These industries provide a total economic contribution of approximately $ 29 billion, roughly 22 percent of the local economy.
As an example of the importance of ag to the K.C. Metro area, I can point to the BNSF facility in the K.C. metro area, where we export 10 million pounds of protein every week. Also, at that facility, the DeLong Company elevator exports nearly 300,000 tons of soybeans and dried distillers grains.
The Kansas City Metro Area is home to several international grain trading companies, including Barlett grain, ADM, Cargill, Grain Craft, Scoular Company, and many others. And I can’t go without mentioning, headquartered in the Kansas City Metro Area, the Fortune 500 company Seaboard Foods, which produces over 7 million market pigs a year.
Mr. Secretary, I think what you’ll find is like when you’re home in Georgia, the folks you meet here in Kansas and Missouri will work hard, demonstrate their remarkable ability, and most importantly, be dedicated to the mission so important to our family, friends, and neighbors in agriculture.
Again, Mr. Secretary, a big thanks to you and your leadership, for all you do for agriculture, for being a voice of hope to all agriculture producers, and fighting to open new markets. And next time you see the President, please tell him thanks, and that we will not let him down. We will make this the Agriculture Research Corridor for the world. Thank you Mr. Secretary for making this day possible and welcome to Kansas City.
And now, it’s my pleasure to introduce the senior senator from the great state of Missouri, a person who helped bring the USDA to Kansas City, the honorable Senator Roy Blunt.”