As Monday came to a close, news in ag circles was still streaming in. We now have a leader at the USDA and agricultural organizations have welcomed the news of the confirmation of George Ervin “Sonny” Perdue III as the next Secretary of Agriculture. But this appointment comes with a long list of to-dos.
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said, “Farm Bureau heartily congratulates Secretary Sonny Perdue on his new role leading our nation’s Agriculture Department. We are eager for agriculture to finally have a seat in the president’s cabinet, and we know Secretary Perdue is just as eager to get to work for farmers, consumers and rural America.”
“He understands the impact farm labor shortages, trade agreements and regulations have on a farmer’s bottom line and ability to stay in business from one season to the next. There’s important work ahead for the secretary, and he’ll need to address these challenges against the backdrop of the biggest drop in farm prices and income we’ve seen in decades.”
National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson had similar things to say. “Having endured months of the current farm crisis and drastic policy changes in Washington without a Secretary of Agriculture, family farmers and ranchers are relieved that Sonny Perdue has finally been confirmed to lead the USDA. NFU stands ready to assist the new Secretary as he navigates the myriad issues facing family agriculture and rural communities.”
“Following his confirmation, Perdue will need to work immediately to address the depressed farm economy, offering assistance to struggling farmers across the country. We particularly look forward to working towards finding solutions for dairy producers, as discussed during the confirmation process. Additionally, NFU urges Perdue to quickly review and approve the long-overdue Farmer Fair Practices Rules, which will provide farmers and ranchers with basic protections against anti-competitive practices.”