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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A “major economic development” announcement will be made today on the campus of Purdue University by Governor Eric Holcomb.

The announcement comes not even a day after the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a list of three finalists to serve as the home for its Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

IUPUI political scientist Bill Blomquist says having the agencies in Indiana would raise the level and the quality of research and education in agriculture in the state.

“Not only would that bring the staff who work in those centers to Indiana, but there could be some spin-off benefits in terms of collaboration with researchers at Purdue University and maybe even other higher ed institutions,” said Blomquist to Inside Indiana Business.

“There could be internship and other opportunities for graduate students and post-doctorate researchers either in Indiana or to locate in Indiana to be with the Economic Research Service or the NIFA.”

Blomquist says if Indiana was selected to be the new home for the agencies, it could also have a positive effect on economic development in the state, particularly in the agriculture and ag tech sectors.

“Mainly what you want to see is the kind of synergy that comes from continuing to grow activity and professionals around these topics,” Blomquist said. “So the fact that there would be this many more individuals employed in that sector in Indiana should be attractive to other folks in the sector.”

Neither Purdue nor the governor’s office have confirmed the announcement has to do with the USDA. 

The department is also considering Kansas City and North Carolina as finalists. St. Louis and Madison, Wisconsin are listed as alternative locations.

(PHOTO: Michael Hickey/Getty Images)