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10 September 2017 - How Do You Like the Sec. Of Agriculture

“How do you like the new Ag Secretary?” It’s a question I have heard often since April when Sonny Perdue was sworn in as Secretary of Agriculture. Because of medical and travel restrictions, it’s a question I couldn’t answer because I had never met and knew very little about him.

I finally met and interviewed him at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, IL a few weeks ago and now can give you my answer. I like him! Let me give you a few of my reasons.

He listens to questions and then gives you answers that are to the point and understandable, no major political talk. He talks agricultural language and if you ask him the price of corn or soybeans at the moment, he can give it to you right to the penny because of his agribusiness marketing experience.

He knows what it takes to run a farm; but he also knows what it takes to run a state because of his service as Governor of Georgia. He understands the world of politics which is an absolute necessity when you have to write a farm bill or work on a trade agreement or find a way to change the mind of President Trump on the importance of agricultural trade, not only to the nation’s farmers and ranchers, but to the overall U. S. economy.

I like the way he increases his knowledge of American agriculture first-hand by traveling and meeting personally with farmers and ranchers to get a true feeling about the challenges they face every day.

At the top of my “like” list, though is the attention he pays to 4-H and FFA members and young farmers. When I asked him why, he said “Just look at the average age of the American agricultural producer and you know we have to do everything we can to encourage and support young men and women to choose an agricultural career."

On a personal note, I think the best compliment I can pay Secretary Perdue is he is just a down-home-good-old-boy. You can disagree with his politics, but not with his personality and I wish him well.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.