What is Hagedorn doing to save USDA Research department?

To the editor:

We wonder what Rep. Hagedorn is doing to stop the administration from destroying the research capabilities of the Department of Agriculture.

As noted on his website, “Minnesota’s First District is one of the top crop and livestock producing congressional districts in the nation.” Service to agriculture is perhaps the most important responsibility we have entrusted to him.

Photos from space are showing the effect of climate change on Midwest farm country (“Midwestern farmers’ struggles with extreme weather are visible from space” https: //www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019 /07 /02 /midwestern-farmersstruggles-with-extreme-weather-are-visible-space/?utm term=.17 ec813 7b2 22). No matter what causes it, climate change is real, and we need the best people in the world to be working on how to manage it Fortunately we have them, the world-class researchers in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

But the administration in Washington is forcing them and their families on short notice (by July 15) to uproot from their homes and lives in Washington, and to move to Kansas City, where there are no offices and no research facilities. Those who choose not to move will be fired. Many, perhaps most, are choosing to resign.

It seems clear that the administration’s forced transfer of Department scientists to Kansas City for no reason, and thereby prompting mass resignations from the Department’s scientific staff, is happening only because of political opposition to their necessary, indeed crucial studies of the effects of climate change.

Supporting the administration’s policy, and even doing nothing to stop it, would be a grave disservice to the people in the farm country that Rep. Hagedorn represents.

Judith A. Kuster

New Ulm


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