Branstad Draws on Ag Experience in Confirmation Hearing

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad drew on his agricultural trade and ethanol experience, as well as his 30 year friendship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, during his confirmation hearing Tuesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. When asked by Sen. Christopher Coons (D-DE) what he will do to get more U.S. chickens to China, Branstad agreed that China needs to have “a …

Perdue Visits Kansas City USDA Office

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue visited the USDA office in Kansas City, Missouri this week and addressed members of the press on a variety of ag issues, including the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), farm bill priorities, SNAP programs, staffing possibilities, the recent wildfires, and his priority for the USDA. Listen to the complete press conference: …

USDA Welcomes @SecretarySonny

Sonny Perdue was sworn in as the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tuesday and officially introduced his new Twitter handle – @SecretarySonny. Welcome to Twitter Secretary Perdue. After he took the oath of office, Perdue’s first order of business was to address employees at the USDA. During his address, Perdue explained the four main principles that will guide him while …

Trump Holds White House Farmers Roundtable

President Trump welcomed new Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on his first day in office for a White House “Farmers Roundtable” and the signing of an Executive Order establishing an Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. Among the 14 farmers and ranchers invited to the White House session was American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “Not only …

Sonny Perdue Confirmed as Ag Secretary

The U.S. Senate has formally confirmed the nomination of George Ervin “Sonny” Perdue III to serve as the 31st Secretary of Agriculture. The final vote was 87 to 11. Perdue, an agribusinessman, veterinarian, state legislator, and former governor of Georgia, grew up working on his family farm in central Georgia, making him the fourth agriculture secretary who has worked as …

Senate Urged to Vote on USDA Secretary

As the agriculture industry continues to operate without leadership at the USDA, industry groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), have been urging the Senate to vote this weekand confirm Sonny Perdue as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture before recessing for spring break. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) have also urged Congress …

Agriculture Secretary Nominee Hearing

The Senate Agriculture Committee held a confirmation hearing March 23 for former Georgia Governor Ervin “Sonny” Perdue III who has been nominated by President Trump to serve as Secretary of Agriculture. During the hearing, Perdue outlined his four overall goals as agriculture secretary – to maximize opportunity of agriculture to create jobs, prioritize customer service every day, ensure a safe …

Agri-Pulse Farm Bill Summit

Agri-Pulse hosted a Farm Bill Summit in Washington DC on the day before National Ag Day as part of their on-going Farm Bill Series. This post features photos and audio from the event on March 20 at the National Press Club. Agri-Pulse Farm Bill Summit photos Preview of Agri-Pulse Farm Bill Summit:     Duvall Addresses Agri-Pulse #FarmBillSummit   The …

Trump Signs Executive Order to Review WOTUS

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to formally reconsider the controversial Waters of the United States, or WOTUS, rule under the Clean Water Act. “(This) is one of the rules most strongly opposed by farmers, ranchers and agricultural workers all across our land…it’s been a disaster,” said President Trump during the White …

Cattlemen and Milk Producers Pleased with Ag Secretary Choice

President-elect Donald Trump officially rounded out his cabinet by nominating former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture just a little more than 24 hours before the inauguration. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association calls him “an excellent pick” to head USDA. “As a lifelong agri-businessman and veterinarian, as well as the two-term governor of a state where agriculture’s the largest …

EPA Nominee Questioned About Ag Issues

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt answered questions about regulatory overreach and his support of renewable fuels during his Senate confirmation hearing to serve as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under President-elect Donald Trump. Listen to Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) question Pruitt here:

Trump Assures Iowa Gov About EPA Pick

Some ethanol interests are understandably a little concerned about President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA, considering his previous opposition to the Renewable Fuel Standard. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, who has accepted the position as Trump’s ambassador to China, got his assurances about Pruitt from the president-elect himself. During his weekly press conference …

Wisconsin Christmas Tree Adorns White House

While close to 350 million Christmas trees are growing on farms throughout the country, a Christmas tree from Wisconsin made its way to the White House Friday where it was presented to First Lady Michelle Obama. The 19-foot Balsam-Veitch fir was presented by Dave and Mary Vander Velden, owners of Whispering Pines Tree Farm in Oconto, Wisconsin. The Vander Veldens …

Senate Passes #GMO Disclosure Bill

Late Thursday evening, the U.S. Senate voted 63-30 to pass the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard that preempts individual state laws to require labeling of foods containing genetically engineered ingredients. The bipartisan compromise legislation, which was worked out by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), requires mandatory disclosure with several options, including text …

Senate Debates GMO Labeling on #AgDay

The Senate heard debate Tuesday on legislation proposed by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) to provide a voluntary national standard for foods containing genetically modified ingredients as well as an incentive to provide more information on biotechnology to consumers. During his floor speech on the Biotechnology Labeling Solutions bill, Roberts stressed the pressing need for Congress to act …