Perdue officially confirmed as US Agriculture Secretary

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A new executive order signed by U.S. President Trump on April 25 is created to bring rural America to the forefront.

Trump met with farmers this week and heard about the challenges they face keeping laborers for dairies or field work, Perdue says. The task force will also coordinate with other executive orders to eliminate red tape and expand opportunities for rural America.

Secretary Perdue will serve as the chairman of the interagency task force on agriculture and rural prosperity according to the executive order which "ensures the informed exercise of regulatory authority that impacts agriculture and rural communities".

Perdue said that on balance NAFTA has been positive for USA agriculture, particularly grain producers, but that the Trump administration thinks it can be improved.

Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson welcomed the new U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to the Show-Me State this week.

Perdue also hinted that next year's farm bill could include policy changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, which were a major sticking point the last time Congress debated the legislation. Trump has proposed a 21 percent cut in USDA programs and has harshly criticized some global trade deals, saying they have killed American jobs.

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"Sonny Perdue is the kind of leader the pork industry, and the entire livestock industry, needs at the US Department of Agriculture", said NPPC President Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Illinois.

Two cabinet nominees are still awaiting Senate confirmation: Alex Acosta, who if confirmed as secretary of labor would be the only Hispanic American in the cabinet, and Robert Lighthizer for USA trade representative. He called Trump a "trader" and framed the president's previous statements suggesting that the US would withdraw from the agreement with Canada and Mexico as a negotiating tactic.

Moore used the situation to underscore the importance of having key administration personnel such as Perdue in place, and called on the Senate to swiftly confirm Ambassador Robert Lighthizer as U.S. Trade Representative.

"My oath to you is that I'm going to the very best job that I possibly can", he said.

"My job as USDA Secretary is to go around the world and make sure we're able to market and sell the products we grow...and make sure our producers continue to prosper and thrive", Perdue says.

The roundtable consisted of 14 members of America's agricultural community, including Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Hank Choate from Cement City, Missouri and Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

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