Friday, January 20, 2017

U.S. Cattlemen, Western Growers back Perdue nomination

Two more farm groups have come out in favor of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue's nomination to be the next USDA secretary.

From the U.S. Cattlemen's Association:
Following the announcement of President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) President Kenny Graner issued the following statement:

“USCA commends President-elect Trump on his long-awaited nomination of Secretary of Agriculture. Sonny Perdue led a state with a $74-billion agricultural sector and a robust cattle industry, and we are confident that Mr. Perdue will serve as a strong leader for rural America. Given Mr. Perdue’s veterinary background, we know that we will have a strong advocate for issues related to animal health and welfare.

USCA looks forward to working with Mr. Perdue and his staff on the challenges facing today’s livestock industry, including the current state of the cattle market and lack of competition and true price discovery; the need to modernize the Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting law and the Packers and Stockyards Act; the opening up of export markets, such as China, with a growing demand for U.S. beef; and a clear definition for country-of-origin labeling information.”

USCA sent a letter to the Trump Agricultural Advisory Team in December outlining priorities for the new Administration; read the letter HERE.
From Western Growers:
In response to President–elect Donald J. Trump naming Sonny Perdue as the nominee to head the Department of Agriculture, Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif issued the following statement:

“We support the nomination of former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture and congratulate him on gaining the confidence of President-elect Trump. Over the course of Governor Perdue’s career, he has proven to be a consummate champion for agriculture and will undoubtedly serve our industry well in this capacity. We look forward to working with the Governor to develop and implement the public policy priorities of the fresh produce industry.

While the secretary’s importance to agriculture is obvious, Governor Perdue will assume the role at a particularly vital time as our country reengages in a discussion about the future of our immigration system. Reform is essential to the long-term viability of American agriculture, which is unique among industries that rely on foreign workers in that our labor needs cannot be met by domestic workers. Foreign hands will harvest our crops, either here or abroad. It is our hope that once confirmed, Governor Perdue will be a relentless advocate for immigration reform that works for agriculture and will present our case to the president, other key cabinet members and members of Congress who will be engaged in future negotiations.

Additionally, we are confident that Governor Perdue will continue the legacy of past secretaries and drive forward other agricultural priorities in areas such as trade, the farm bill, nutrition, research funding and the environment.

On behalf of the nearly 2,500 Western Growers members who collectively grow more than half of the nation’s fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, we congratulate Governor Perdue on his nomination as Secretary of Agriculture and wish him a speedy confirmation process.”
The Capital Press' Eric Mortenson and Matthew Weaver gathered reactions from numerous farm and natural resource groups. Their story is here.

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