Illinois Corn Growers Association President Justin Durdan, a farmer from Utica, issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Sonny Perdue as U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary.
“It’s pleasant to see the President’s nominee for Agriculture Secretary achieve Senate confirmation with such ease. We believed Secretary Purdue was a great choice back in January, and we remain firm in our support for him. It appears the Senate agrees.
“Secretary Perdue has a great deal of opportunity to improve the farm economy in his new position. For example, we urge the Secretary to use his influence with the President to encourage the inclusion of improvements to locks and dams in the White House infrastructure plan. There are shovel ready plans that bring jobs to our economy and will result in needed improvements to our waterways transportation systems.
“We’re also eager to see how Secretary Perdue can work with U.S. EPA Administrator Pruitt to roll back burdensome regulations that impede economic prosperity while failing to provide environmental gains.
“There is some concern among corn farmers regarding President Trump’s proposed cuts to the USDA budget. During the last farm bill negotiations, corn farmers stepped up and offered opportunities to lower our budget impact. Since that time, commodity prices have dropped and the safety net provided by crop insurance is a top priority for our members. We’d like to see the Secretary advocate for crop insurance. It is an insurance policy that farmers pay a premium for, meaning that they share in the cost.
“We look forward to working with Mr. Perdue and hope to see him in Illinois, soon.”