This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) blog. Check back each week as we showcase the stories and news from the agency’s rich science and research portfolio.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of joining U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, U.S. Representative Lacy Clay, along with St. Louis area economic development and agriculture representatives to celebrate the establishment of a new national operations center for USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) in Overland, Mo. This facility, with the jobs and local investment it brings, has the potential for positive, long-term economic impact in our community.
We are proud to have this organization as a new member of our community. Our area had what USDA was looking for to locate its agricultural statistics office in terms of quality of life, cost of living, transportation efficiencies, availability of highly qualified staff, and telecommunications capabilities. These are attributes about which we are proud here in America’s heartland. By opening the offices at the Charles F. Prevedel building, NASS will not only improve its processes, it will also bring more than 350 new full-time and part-time jobs to St. Louis County, which will help us in our economic development efforts.
NASS has a long standing reputation when it comes to conducting agricultural surveys and with more than 100,000 farmers in Missouri, many of our residents already know the agency. Many of us use the agency’s reports to learn more about the agricultural industry as we set our policies, develop land use plans, and understand the impact of this sector, which is such a strong part of our way of life and economy here. Many farmers will be happy to see a stronger agricultural presence in our own state and to have an opportunity to contribute to NASS’s survey efforts.
I was also very happy to learn that the building will be environmentally and energy efficient. With the help of the General Service Administration, the building is undergoing improvements and system upgrades. After the renovations are complete, the building is expected to receive a Silver Rating in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
On behalf of all of the residents, I would like to welcome NASS to St. Louis County. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.