Clements: The American Farm Bureau Federation welcomes the confirmation and swearing in of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. AFBF public policy executive director Dale Moore says with the confirmation and swearing in of Perdue, agriculture now has a voice in the new administration.
Moore: One of the things that we're excited about is that now we have a Secretary of Agriculture. Sonny Perdue was sworn in as the 31st Secretary of Agriculture, was confirmed by the Senate at a vote of 87-11 which is a pretty strong showing on any issue that comes through the Senate. So, what it means for agriculture is we now have the head of USDA, Sonny Perdue from Georgia, in place as secretary, and he can start that initial, very important work.
Clements: Moore says one of the first things for Agriculture Secretary Perdue is meeting with President Donald Trump and a group of farmers at the White House, including AFBF President Zippy Duvall.
Moore: One of the things that we’re excited about is not only getting to talk to the President, but having Secretary Perdue in place to hear it firsthand from the folks. As one can imagine, Secretary Perdue has been anxious to get started in his job. I think as you look beyond today’s activities and festivities, we’re getting into those issues now related to putting his team together at USDA. That’s one of the most important things on his priority list.
Clements: Perdue told USDA employees Tuesday that trade will be a top priority of the department. Moore says this echoes the priorities of AFBF.
Moore: We’ve been visiting with the transition team at USDA and with White House officials about the importance of getting trade back on track. It’s clear that Secretary Perdue is going to be a key part of the President’s trade team. And we’re very confident that just as we’ve been told by our folks down in Georgia what a great job he did as governor of the state, we’re looking for that same management and that same drive that he brings to the job at USDA to take those issues and move them on down the road.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.
Communications Assistant, AFBF