Nebraska has gotten a visit from the new Secretary of Agriculture.
Specifically, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue participated in a roundtable discussion with ranchers at U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer’s Sunny Slope Ranch in Cherry County, south of Valentine.
Some misgivings have been expressed in the Midwest about Perdue, the former Georgia governor who is more familiar with southern agriculture than Midwestern production agriculture.
Still, Fischer sees Perdue as a strong voice for agriculture in the Trump Administration.
“I’m pleased that the secretary is committed to listening, acting, and standing up for rural America,” Fischer tells Nebraska reporters during a conference call.
Fischer says Perdue is determined to increase the exports of American agricultural products throughout the world and discussed how China’s recent announcement that it will re-open its markets for American beef will benefit Nebraska ranchers.
On another topic, Fischer says she disagrees with President Trump’s proposed budget cuts to the United States Department of Agriculture. The president is proposing the USDA take about a 20% cut in funding. Fischer says she worries how the cuts will impact crop insurance, which she says will be one of her top priorities when discussions begin about a new Farm Bill.
Fischer says she has expressed her concerns to the Senate Agriculture Committee chair, Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas.
Fischer had invited Perdue to visit the ranch earlier in the year. About 60 people attended the roundtable with the Ag Secretary.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]