USDA Secretary Perdue Meets with Politicians and Farmers in Fargo
Perdue came to Fargo at the request of Senator John Hoeven to hear thoughts ahead of the 2018 Farm Bill
FARGO, N.D. — With many farmers and politicians in attendance, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue learned about new advances in agricultural technology and also problems that farmers encounter on a daily basis.
“Farmers are generally compliant people, they want to follow the rules, they want to be good conservationists,” said Perdue.
Secretary Perdue listened to many issues faced by farmers ranging from crop insurance to free trade.
“It’s vital. That’s something that a producer participates in to a large degree in a majority position, and we need to preserve that going forward,” said Perdue when talking about crop insurance.
Perdue also talked about fair trade, and how adjustments need to be made between the United States and Canada.
“Canadian farmers can come down and sell their durum wheat. Our farmers take theirs across the line, and it’s treated as feed wheat, and the discrimination in price between feed wheat and premium durum wheat is huge,” said Perdue.
Representative Kevin Cramer says this attitude towards free trade has come a long way in twenty years.
“Remember NAFTA did not have a single vote out of North Dakota. When NAFTA passed, there wasn’t anyone from the North Dakota delegation that voted for it. Today you can’t find anyone that’s against it,” said Cramer.
Even with Perdue’s input on farming issues, North Dakota politicians want farmers to stay diligent with their requests.
“We need the producers to say it every day because it is a reminder at the front, that if we aren’t talking about it, we’re going to be left behind in agriculture,” said Senator Heidi Heitkamp.
Senator John Hoeven invited Perdue to North Dakota to hear feedback on issues that might impact the 2018 Farm Bill.
Perdue has visited over 30 states since he became Secretary of Agriculture last year.