New U.S. ag secretary

The new U.S. agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue (70) was named on January 19, a much anticipated announcement given that rural America largely supported the election of Donald Trump. He is the former Georgia governor from 2003-2011. 
    

United Fresh president and CEO Tom Stenzel stated, “We have high regards for his past work with our Georgia fruit and vegetable industry, and are confident he will bring a passion and commitment to supporting agriculture, and helping us deliver healthy foods to all Americans. We anticipate meeting with Governor Perdue soon and working with him on critical issues such as securing an adequate workforce through immigration reform and a new guest worker program, bolstering free and fair trade, serving the neediest Americans through federal feeding programs and more.”  
    

Outgoing secretary Tom Vilsack noted key issues in his exit memo including the need to increase investments to improve water quality and wastewater services in rural America and to deal with water quantity as well. He also flagged the needs of new and beginning farmers who are challenged to access land, capital and technical assistance. The average age of U.S. farmers is more than 58 years. Almost 10 per cent of farmer land in the U.S. is expected to change hands in the next five years.  
    

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a fiscal 2017 budget of $150 billion. A hefty portion of that budget was earmarked for the food and nutrition service.  Of interest, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) had a budget of $1.1 billion. The Food Safety and Inspection Service had a budget of more than $1 billion. Perdue will have a significant role in the next Farm Bill debate in 2018.  
    

Senator David Perdue, a Republican of Georgia and a cousin, will be one of those voting on his confirmation.

 

If latest news: 
Check if it is latest news (for "Latest News" page)
Publish date: 
Friday, January 20, 2017

Click to leave a comment

CAPTCHA
For security purposes, please confirm you are not a robot!

RELATED NEWS

QPMA honours George Pitsikoulis

The Quebec Produce Marketing Association names George Pitsikoulis as its 2019 Pillar of the Industry award winner. The honour was bestowed during its annual meeting  in Quebec City, August 8-10.

AALP Class 18 announced

The Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program kicks off its Class 18 on September 15. The OFVGA’s Chris Duyvelshoff, crop protection advisor, is one of the 21 emerging leaders accepted to the 19-month course.  

The president of Savoura found deceased

The founder of the Savoura greenhouse tomato brand, Stéphane Roy and his 15-year-old son Justin, were found deceased on July 25 after a helicopter crash in northern Quebec. 

Peter Vander Zaag receives award

Ontario potato breeder and grower, Dr. Peter Vander Zaag, has received an honorary lifetime membership from the Potato Association of America. He has shared his expertise around the world making the tuber a source of stable income in parts of China.

Passing of Harry McWatters

A legendary pioneer in the British Columbia wine industry has passed. Harry McWatters, 74, celebrated many milestones along the way.