U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue addressed attendees to conclude at the ARA Conference and Expo on November 30.
His comments covered a broad range of issues including tax reform,
Perdue, who noted his past experience in the fertilizer business and with ARA's predecessor organization, the National Fertilizer Solutions Association, talked extensively about the tax reform bill currently under debate in the Senate. He encouraged those in the business of agriculture to contact their representatives in Washington, D.C., to communicate their corporate and individual interests.
"Farming is a great lifestyle, but you don't get to do it very long as a
Perdue also reiterated his desire to improve the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The agency is realigning local offices to better serve farmers, according to Perdue.
"(Customers) shouldn't have to go to different places or fill out different forms," he said. "We're trying to make it easier to serve our customers. We want to them to do business with us. Easier, faster, friendlier."
Perdue also touched on infrastructure, noting investments on roads,
"Not only at the farmhouse, not only in the farm community, not only in
His closing comments focused on the next farm bill, calling it an evolution, not revolution.
"You're going to see a farm bill with a safety net balanced primarily by crop insurance," he said. "We want a safety net that keeps people where they can do it again, but we don't want farmers farming for the program. Your customers would much rather have a good crop at a fair price than any kind of government program."
He asked for the input of ag retailers as the farm bill comes together.