Clements: A round table conversation between President Donald Trump, farmers and new Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue Tuesday offered agriculture a chance to discuss key issues facing agriculture. American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall, who participated in the round table, said the conversation focused on trade, taxes, farm labor and regulatory reform.
Duvall: The President’s been a friend of agriculture by looking at rules and regulations that hinder us from doing our jobs and small businesses from doing their jobs. He’s signed the executive order to start dismantling the Waters of the U.S. where the EPA tried to redefine the word navigable. And then also, yesterday, he signed an executive order to start a task force to study ag and rural prosperity, which means that he’s going to--with intergovernmental agencies with Secretary Perdue leading that task force--look into every regulatory barrier that’s in front agriculture and try to find solutions to it so that we can continue to grow, be productive and create jobs.
Clements: Duvall says the meeting at the White House was very productive and showed promise for the agricultural industry.
Duvall: We had two goals going into yesterday’s meeting, to be able to speak to all the issues that are facing our farmers and ranchers, the key issues. And to do it in a very efficient manner. And I think the group that went in was very efficient in doing that and we got to talk about farm labor, taxes, regulatory reform and trade, which all are very important to us.
Clements: Duvall says having Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in place at USDA will help move agriculture issues forward.
Duvall: Our organization works on policy each and every day that affects agriculture and rural America, and a lot of those policies are driven or administrated through USDA. So now that we have a Secretary--and the Secretary that has been chosen has great credentials--we are very optimistic about the future of us working together with him and his department. He rolled his sleeves up to go to work and we are going to roll our sleeves up to go to work with him and this administration to make rural America stronger and farmers and ranchers stronger in their businesses back at home.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.
Communications Assistant, AFBF