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GFB hosts welcome home event for Ag Secretary Perdue


On Aug. 25, Georgia Farm Bureau hosted a luncheon to welcome U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue back to his home state. Perdue met with rural stakeholders for a listening session on rural development concerns, had a brief meeting with Georgia commodity group leaders, then had lunch with approximately 240 GFB members and guests.

Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long presented Secretary Perdue with an honorary lifetime membership to GFB.

"Secretary Perdue has a long history of supporting agriculture in our state," Long said. "And I'm confident that he will continue representing us in agriculture across our rural communities in our country.:

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black spoke briefly about the need to focus on rural issues, and Secretary Perdue picked up the rural development theme, discussing plans to improve rural prosperity. Perdue expressed faith and confidence in American farmers.

"You all face challenges every day and keep coming back for more," said Perdue. "You face difficulties, but you're never defeated."

Perdue talked about his tour of Midwest farms, part of an effort to develop policies to enhance quality of life for rural America, as directed in an executive order from President Trump. The executive order established an interagency task force involving 22 federal agencies charged with improving rural prosperity by removing impediments and getting regulatory and policy enhancements to help the agricultural sector more productive. The president ordered the task force to present a report in late October.

Perdue noted that 85 percent of the nation's persistently impoverished counties are in rural areas, and one in four rural children live in poverty.

"The economic recovery experienced by much of the suburban parts of the country have yet to be fully recognized and realized by the 46 million of us who call rural America our home," Perdue said.

He spoke of the administration's push to reduce the regulatory burdens American farmers face, approaching proposed regulations with the mindset that regulations should protect the public at a reasonable cost while providing producers a return on the cost of compliance; the regulations should help manage risk; do those affected have suggestions that will make the regulations better for everyone; and, the regulations should not be derived from a hidden ideological agenda.

After lunch, Perdue posed for pictures with GFB members. The photos are available at www.gfb.photos/sonny.