USDA’s 2018 farm bill and legislative principles, released by Secretary Sonny Perdue earlier this week, look to the future while securing the present for farmers and ranchers, who continue to face a prolonged period of reduced farm income, according to American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall.
“We are pleased the secretary and his team have highlighted not just the importance of risk management on the farm, but also rural development, research and development, trade, conservation and nutrition,” Duvall said in a statement.
In introducing the principles, Perdue emphasized that they are based on what he heard from farmers and ranchers in the more than 30 states he has visited since he was confirmed as USDA secretary.
The principles are also meant to make Capitol Hill aware that USDA staff are ready to roll up their sleeves and work alongside lawmakers in crafting the farm bill.
“These principles will be used as a road map – they are our way of letting Congress know what we’ve heard from the hard-working men and women of American agriculture. While we understand it’s the legislature’s job to write the [farm bill], USDA will be right there providing whatever counsel Congress may request or require,” Perdue said.
Duvall said farmers and ranchers appreciate Perdue’s efforts.
“We applaud Secretary Perdue’s clear signal that he is looking forward to working with agriculture’s leaders in Congress, as is Farm Bureau, to arrive at a farm bill that will bring out the best agriculture has to offer the American people and the world,” Duvall said.