Four Illinois Corn Growers Association leaders met with U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today as he made visits as part of his RV Tour of the Midwest. The five-state RV tour titled the “Back to Our Roots” Tour is intended to gather input on the 2018 Farm Bill and increasing rural prosperity. Along the way, Secretary Perdue has met with farmers, ranchers, foresters, producers, students, governors, Members of Congress, USDA employees, and other stakeholders. Today’s stops included discussions with Illinois Corn Growers President Justin Durdan and Vice-President Aron Carlson, District 7 Director Bill Christ, and District 10 Director Marty Marr. This is the first of two RV tours the secretary will undertake this summer.
The Secretary said this morning that the tour is, “just on the ground conversations with producers and farmers about what their hopes for the (2018) Farm Bill are, how we can do better, what they need, and how we can get out of their way and let them produce for the world.”
The Secretary spoke with farmers today about trade negotiations, the 2018 Farm Bill, and other current events in agriculture. It was evident to those in attendance that Mr. Perdue has an incredible depth of knowledge on agricultural topics.
“We’re pleased to see that Secretary Perdue made Illinois part of his RV Tour,” said ICGA President Justin Durdan. “It’s nice to see the Trump Administration is prioritizing relationships with farmers across the country and it’s clear to me that Mr. Perdue is very genuine in these meetings.”
“I had a chance to say a couple words to the Secretary,” explained Aron Carlson, ICGA Vice-President. “I told him how much I appreciate his background in agriculture and also that it is important that he continues to support the importance of trade to agriculture.”
“The ‘Back to our Roots’ Farm Bill and rural prosperity RV listening tour will allow us to hear directly from people in agriculture across the country, as well as our consumers – they are the ones on the front lines of American agriculture and they know best what the current issues are,” Perdue said. “USDA will be intimately involved as Congress deliberates and formulates the 2018 Farm Bill. We are committed to making the resources and the research available so that Congress can make good facts-based, data-driven decisions. It’s important to look at past practices to see what has worked and what has not worked so that we create a farm bill for the future that will be embraced by American agriculture in 2018.”