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AG Notes

Press Release | 115th Congress
House Seal

Peterson Statement at Hearing on Rural Economy with Secretary Perdue

May 17, 2017

Opening Statement by Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin C. Peterson
State of the Rural Economy: Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue

--As Prepared for Delivery--

“Thank you Mr. Chairman. I’m very pleased to welcome Secretary Perdue to the Agriculture Committee. It took a while to get you here but it’s nice to see you’ve hit the ground running now that you’re at USDA. I think I speak for all of us when I say that we’re ready to work with you.

“The Administration has been in need of someone who understands farm programs and their impact on rural America. Hopefully you will get them to reconsider the proposed $4.7 billion cut to USDA they outlined in March. I know you weren’t a part of that but I just don’t think anyone at the White House understands what these cuts would mean to rural America.

“This hearing is focused on the rural economy. As you’re well aware, the rural economy is trending downward. High yields have kept things afloat but I worry that we could find ourselves in real trouble especially if the weather doesn’t cooperate or market conditions decline. This is why it is so important to get the farm bill safety net right. I’ll be looking forward to your thoughts on what you think needs to be done in the next farm bill and what role you anticipate the Administration to play in the process.

“The farm bill is just one of many topics I expect us to cover today. I know our members are looking forward to hearing from the Secretary so with that, Mr. Chairman, I yield back.”