Sonny Perdue was sworn in as the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture on April 25, and one of his first agendas after being confirmed concerned efforts to reorganize the Department of Agriculture, although what that means specifically to food safety is still unknown.
Robert Guenther, United Fresh Produce Association’s vice president of public policy, says the organization commends Secretary Perdue for taking on this important task to create more efficient and focused realignment of key program areas within the Department of Agriculture.
“We look forward to working with the department to ensure the department reorganization will provide the fresh fruit and vegetable industry enhanced access and service in areas such as trade promotion, rural development, conservation practices, risk management tools, and other areas that USDA has identified under this reorganization plan,”he says.
In May, Perdue created an undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs in the USDA, designed to highlight the ever-increasing importance of international trade to American agriculture.
The American Soybean Association, for one, was in large favor of this move and released a statement following Perdue’s announcement.
“The U.S. exports well over half of the soybeans we produce, and agriculture is one of only a handful of business sectors in the country with a positive trade balance—$17 billion last year,” the organization says. “That success abroad leads to success here at home, returning billions to the economy and supporting more than a million jobs. To have USDA recognize the importance of farm trade by creating this position is very encouraging, and we appreciate the administration’s foresight in doing so.”| | | Next → | Single Page
About Keith Loria
A graduate of the University of Miami, Keith Loria is an award-winning journalist who has been writing for major newspapers and magazines for close to 20 years, on topics as diverse as food, sports, business, theater, and government. He started his career with the Associated Press and has held high editorial positions at Rinkside, BCA Insider, and Soap Opera Digest. Reach him at email@example.com.