A Witness to Change

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KyCorn Leader Attends USDA Reorganization Announcement

KyCorn past president and KyCorn Promotion Council member Russel Schwenke, a farmer in Union (Boone Co.), attended the announcement made May 11 by US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue that the USDA was reorganizing and naming an Undersecretary of Trade. 

The announcement took place next to the Ohio River (Cincinnati) with several barges filled with U.S. agricultural products. As part of a reorganization of USDA, Perdue also announced the standing up of a newly-named Farm Production and Conservation mission area to have a customer focus and meet USDA constituents in the field.  Finally, Perdue announced that the department’s Rural Development agencies would be elevated to report directly to the secretary of agriculture in recognition of the need to help promote rural prosperity.

Perdue issued a report to announce the changes, which address Congressional direction in the 2014 Farm Bill to create the new undersecretary for trade and also are a down payment on President Trump’s request of his cabinet to deliver plans to improve the accountability and customer service provided by departments.

“Food is a noble thing to trade. This nation has a great story to tell and we've got producers here that produce more than we can consume,” said Secretary Perdue.  “And that’s good, because I’m a grow-it-and-sell-it kind of guy. Our people in American agriculture have shown they can grow it, and we’re here to sell it in markets all around the world.”

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NCGA: “Secretary Perdue’s announcement signals to farm country that the Trump Administration is listening to America’s farmers and ranchers. In this farm economy, trade is more important than ever to farmers’ incomes...Now is the time for U.S. agriculture to fully capitalize on the long-term, increased global demand for our products around the world. [The] announcement is a big step toward that goal."