Sec. Perdue Plans to Reorganize USDA
May 12, 2017
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced on May 11 the creation of an undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a recognition of the ever-increasing importance of international trade to American agriculture.
Perdue made the announcement standing near barges filled with agricultural products along the banks of the Ohio River in Cincinnati. 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. The Farm Service Agency, the Risk Management Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service will realign under that mission area.
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 Sec. 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.”
On a related note, the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, May 17, to hear from Sec. Perdue about his “perspective on the economic outlook in rural America along with his vision for USDA and the role it will play in ensuring that our country continues to enjoy the safest, most abundant and most affordable food supply in the world.”