The reaction by state farm leaders to the selection of Sonny Perdue to be the new U.S. Secretary of Agriculture was positive. “He brings all the right credentials as far as I am concerned,” stated Ted McKinney, Director of ISDA. He told HAT that Perdue has the experience to be a strong advocate for agriculture, “The cropping experience, the livestock experience, the international trade experience, and the administration experience is the combination that many in agriculture have been looking for.”
Jane Ade Stevens, Executive Director of the Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn, said the fact that Perdue was the last cabinet officer picked will not be a problem in keeping the USDA on course, “There are plenty of career professionals at USDA that can keep the programs running.” Stevens, who has worked at USDA in Washington, said even the political appointees should have no problem getting up to speed.
Trump administration officials have said the process of choosing support positions within the agency will now begin. Several Hoosier farm leaders are on a short list for some of those positions. Indiana Farm Bureau President Randy Kron says Indiana will have a strong voice in Washington, “Several Hoosiers have made trips to Trump Tower. These are some people who would represent Indiana agriculture very well.”
Kosciusko County farmer and Trump Ag advisory committee member Kip Tom said the agriculture sector must now come together to support Dr. Perdue, “The Agriculture community will need to join together regardless of geographical location, commodity produced, industry association, or where they reside in the supply chain to support our Secretary of Agriculture. U.S. Agriculture has the opportunity to experience an economic renaissance unparalleled from the past and, in the meanwhile, deliver humanitarian relief worldwide that will be monumental. Time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”