Inviting farmers to the White House, Trump looks to boost rural America

Inviting farmers to the White House, Trump looks to boost rural America

"The American Feed Industry Association applauds the Senate's decision today to confirm Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture", said Joel G. Newman, President and CEO.

The Administration's proposed budget slashes almost $5 billion from critical agriculture and rural economic development initiatives, which is 21 percent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's budget. Because of the delay, he needs to hit the ground running.

Perdue, who served two terms as governor of Georgia, grew up on a farm, trained as a veterinarian and worked in his family's agribusinesses.

A formal swearing-in ceremony for Perdue, likely to be held later this week, will officially recognize Perdue as the 31st Secretary of Agriculture. Last week, I traveled across the state and made several stops to talk with ag leaders and local farmers about what's on their minds, including the next Farm Bill, a strong Renewable Fuel Standard, preventing another avian influenza outbreak, and of course, ongoing threats to the dairy industry.

"The much-delayed appointment - the last announced Trump cabinet post, announced just a day before the January 20 inauguration - has prompted some to express concern that President Donald Trump has made a low priority of the rural and farm interests credited with his victory in November". Trump has also proposed slashing USDA programs, a move likely to bring him into open conflict with farmers.

Secretary Perdue takes over USDA as farm prices are off from highs experienced during Vilsack's tenure. "He's got a huge job".

"The United States Department of Agriculture (is) such a meaningful agency", he said. I am hopeful that Mr. "Perdue can make some deals", she added.

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During Monday's remarks to the Senate, Chairman Roberts noted six former secretaries of agirculture representing presidents from both parties voiced support for Perude, along with 700 agriculture and food industry groups.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. was among dozens of companies and organizations that signed a letter of support sent to the Senate urging Perdue's confirmation and saying he has a "proven record" of effective governing and dedicated public service. "If confirmed, Sonny Perdue will be number three".

Also, Congress must reach agreement by the end of the week on a plan to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year on September 30 or face a government shutdown.

"Secretary Perdue is a distinguished alumnus of the University of Georgia, and we are grateful for the tremendous support he has demonstrated for his alma mater over the years", said UGA President Jere W. Morehead in a press release.

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said, "Farm Bureau heartily congratulates Secretary Sonny Perdue on his new role leading our nation's Agriculture Department".

As ag chief, Perdue will oversee the nation's nutrition, farm and forestry programs and will play a major role in shaping the upcoming USA farm bill and in U.S.ag trade negotiations. The current measure expires in 2018.

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