Most Ag Groups Pleased with Ag Secretary Choice

Cindy Zimmerman

The agriculture industry had to wait until right up to the end to learn Trump’s choice for Secretary of Agriculture, but now that he’s nominated former Georgia Governor, Sonny Perdue, the agriculture groups seem generally pleased.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association calls him “an excellent pick” to head USDA. “As a lifelong agri-businessman and veterinarian, as well as the two-term governor of a state where agriculture’s the largest industry, Gov. Perdue has a unique and expert understanding of both the business and scientific sides of agriculture,” said NCBA president Tracy Brunner of Kansas.Interview with Tracy Brunner, NCBA

“America’s dairy farmers are looking forward to working with Secretary of Agriculture-designate Sonny Perdue, whose role as the chief advocate for farmers and rural America is absolutely crucial in the new Trump Administration, especially when milk prices have been in a prolonged slump,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO, National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF). Interview with Jim Mulhern, NMPF

The National Farmers Union is cautiously optimistic. “Given the challenging state of the farm economy, more than ever, family farmers and ranchers need a champion in Washington,” says President Roger Johnson.  “I am hopeful we will find that champion in Sonny Perdue.”

Congratulations came from the National Corn Growers Association President Wesley Spurlock. “Agriculture is the backbone of rural America, and we need strong leadership within USDA to keep moving the industry forward through difficult economic times.[…] We stand ready to work with President-Elect Trump and the new USDA leadership to move agriculture and our country forward.”

The National Cotton Council is ready to work with Perdue as well. “It is encouraging to see a Secretary of Agriculture nominee with a strong production agriculture and agribusiness background and with experience, who comes from the second largest cotton-producing state,” NCC Chairman Shane Stephens said.

Ron Moore, President of the American Soybean Association, welcomes Perdue as the nomination. “From working to implement a viable risk management framework to helping expand our markets overseas, to investing in agricultural research here at home, these are critical elements of the farm economy, and we look forward to working alongside USDA under Secretary Perdue to ensure that the department continues to serve American soybean farmers in the most effective manner possible.”

U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry also weighed in, giving this endorsement: “I appreciated my conversation with Governor Perdue before his announcement and look forward to meeting with him again as the Committee completes a thorough confirmation process. Together, we must get to work addressing these immediate and future challenges.”

Ag Group, Audio, USDA