During the most recent House Agriculture Committee hearing, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue testified on the State of the Rural Economy. It was a full committee hearing with members from across the nation including several California representatives.
In Perdue’s testimony, he discussed how USDA works to sow prosperity in rural America through the implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill, conservation programs and recent strides to break down trade barriers. He updated members on the state of the rural economy providing data on farm income, expected expenses, and debt. Perdue also detailed how the department is working to back farmers and ranchers with programs such as the Market Facilitation Program and the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program Plus. The secretary then concluded his testimony talking about the future of agriculture, highlighting the department’s newest initiative, the Agriculture Innovation Agenda.
After Perdue’s opening remarks, the committee members had the chance to ask him questions regarding his statements as well as national and regional ag issues. California Representative Jim Costa was the second member to take the mic. He immediately addressed trade deals with two Asian countries. First, Rep. Costa asked about a potential Phase Two agreement with Japan, in which Perdue responded optimistically. Costa then pressed the secretary on trade with China, considering their large purchase promises and how the Coronavirus outbreak might have an impact.
You can watch the full hearing by visiting the House Ag Democrats YouTube page.
Listen to the full report below.