In this file:


·         Ag Secretary Says Trade is Answer to Ailing Farm Economy

·         Perdue tackles trade and other ag issues during House Ag hearing

·         Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to Visit Nebraska

·         Perdue Faces Push Back on USDA Reorganization Plan



Ag Secretary Says Trade is Answer to Ailing Farm Economy


Radio 570 WNAX (SD)

May 18, 2017


Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told the House Ag Committee trade is the way out of a bad farm economy. Testifying yesterday for his first time as Secretary he told lawmakers the farm economy is in “dire straits”.


And Perdue says there will be less help for farmers this year than last…


He says the farm bill safety net is working, but trade is the answer.


Perdue suggests keeping key wins in the now-defunct TPP and even extending them to a trilateral NAFTA, Asia trade effort, while protecting trade-important U.S. herds with vaccine banks for FMD and highly pathogenic avian influenza.


Meanwhile, Perdue defended his move...


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Perdue tackles trade and other ag issues during House Ag hearing


By Meghan Grebner, Brownfield

May 17, 2017


The House Ag Committee had its first opportunity to go one-on-one with the Secretary of Agriculture.


Issues ranged from crop insurance, immigration, the rising age of the farmer, the USDA reorganization and trade.


Chairman Mike Conaway says he wants to know how the USDA’s new undersecretary for trade would fit in with the other governmental trade entities.  “The role that undersecretary will play – not only in making sure the negotiations go the correct way, but also making sure the administration keeps a close look on enforcement of the various trade deals we have out there,” he says.


Secretary Perdue says the new undersecretary will work alongside the newly confirmed US Trade representative and the Secretary of Commerce.  “The Secretary of Commerce has a broader portfolio than we do at the USDA,” he says.  “That’s the blending of trade – you do what you do well and we sell you what we do well.”


He says says people do business with people...





Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to Visit Nebraska


BY Joe Gangwish/Senator Fischer's Office

via KTIC (NE) - May 18, 2017


U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) will welcome Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to her family ranch in Cherry County, Nebraska, on Saturday, May 20.


Senator Fischer and Secretary Perdue will lead a roundtable discussion with Nebraska ranchers to discuss challenges they face as they work to feed the world.


The Rural Radio Network will attend and provide coverage.


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Perdue Faces Push Back on USDA Reorganization Plan


By Hoosier Ag Today

May 17, 2017


Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the head of the Agriculture Department’s rural development efforts would be confirmed by the Senate, as included in his USDA reorganization proposal. He made the remarks during a House Agriculture Committee hearing on the state of the rural economy Wednesday. Perdue, who announced the reorganization plan last week, said the head of the rural development mission area under his plan would be an assistant secretary confirmed by the Senate. But, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition says the change must be approved by Congress.


A spokesperson with the Coalition said that what Perdue said “cannot be true,” unless USDA proposes legislation to Congress to create the new assistant secretary position. By law, USDA is limited to three assistant secretaries, according to the Coalition. The Center for Rural Affairs, is calling on Congress to restore the rural development arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, along with the undersecretary position. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue is reorganizing USDA and creating an Undersecretary for Trade. Rural Affairs Policy Program Director Johnathan Hladik says they’re not opposed to that position, but also want an Undersecretary of Rural Development.


During his testimony, the Secretary defended his decision to eliminate the position, which coordinates billions of dollars in loans and grant programs, explaining that an assistant secretary position will spearhead rural development...