Maybe it was just a coincidence, but we’ll call it good planning! President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, took questions from the Senate Ag Committee today during National Agriculture Week festivities in Washington. Most DC insiders believe Mr. Perdue will be easily confirmed in a vote that has yet to be scheduled by the Senate. Upon hearing of Mr. Perdue’s nomination back in late January, Illinois Corn Growers Association President Justin Durdan said, “We’re pleased to see that (President) Trump has chosen to nominate Sonny Perdue to his Cabinet. The U.S. Department of Agriculture plays an important role for corn farmers. By all accounts it seems that Mr. Perdue is well situated to quickly get up to speed and continue the good work of USDA. He will need to hit the ground running as USDA’s guidance on issues facing corn farmers. For instance, his experience in expanding domestic and international sales opportunities should serve us well in securing future trade agreements.”
In his opening statement to the Committee, Mr. Perdue said:
“First, I will maximize the ability of the men and women of America’s agriculture and agribusiness sector to create jobs ... to produce and sell the foods and fiber that feed and clothe the world ... and to reap the earned reward of their labor. We want to remove every obstacle, and give them every opportunity to prosper.
Second, for the American taxpayers – our customers – I will prioritize customer service every day. They expect, and have every right to demand, that we conduct the people’s business efficiently, effectively, and with the utmost integrity.
Third, as our taxpayers are also consumers, they expect a safe and secure food supply and USDA will continue to serve in the critical role of ensuring the food we put on the table to feed our families meets the strict safety standards we’ve established. I will never forget that we’re the fortunate beneficiaries of past generations, who put a premium on smart stewardship, protecting, preserving, and entrusting us with those valuable resources.
And fourth … American agricultural bounty comes directly from the land. And today, those land resources sustain more than 320 million Americans and countless millions more around the globe. My father’s words still ring in my ears, ‘Son, if you take care of the land, it will take care of you. Owned or rented, we’re all stewards, and our responsibility is to leave it better than we found it’.”
ICGA looks forward to Mr. Perdue’s confirmation by the Senate in the coming days.
To view the hearing, click here.