Tag: Sonny Perdue

White House wants to deliver food to the poor, Blue Apron-style

White House wants to deliver food to the poor, Blue Apron-style

Think of it as Blue Apron for food stamp recipients. “USDA America’s Harvest Box is a bold, innovative approach to providing nutritious food to people who need assistance feeding themselves and their families — and all of it is homegrown by American farmers and producers,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in a statement. “It maintains the same level of food value as SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] participants currently receive, provides states flexibility in administering the program, and is responsible to the taxpayers.”
Part of the president’s fiscal 2019 budget blueprint, the idea immediately sparked concerns and questions among consumer advocates and food retailers.
They feared it would upend a much-needed benefit for more than 80% of those in the program.
Here’s how it would work: Instead of receiving all their food stamp funds, households would get a box of food that the government describes as nutritious and 100% grown and produced in the U.S.
The box would be valued at about half of the SNAP recipient’s monthly benefit.
The administration didn’t detail exactly how families would receive the food boxes, saying states could distribute them through existing infrastructure, partnerships or directly to residences through delivery services.
The proposal would save nearly $130 billion over 10 years, as well as improve the nutritional value of the program and reduce the potential for fraud, according to the administration.
Plus, it could be difficult for families to pick up the box, especially if they don’t have a car.

Senate confirms Sonny Perdue as agriculture secretary

Senate confirms Sonny Perdue as agriculture secretary

Senate confirms Sonny Perdue as agriculture secretary.
Sonny Perdue to be agriculture secretary in President Trump’s administration as the farming industry looks to Washington for help amid a downturn in the market.
At his confirmation hearing in March, Perdue assured nervous farm-state senators that he will advocate for rural America, even as Mr. Trump has proposed deep cuts to some farm programs.
Mr. Trump nominated him just two days before his inauguration, and then the nomination was delayed for weeks as the administration prepared his ethics paperwork.
As agriculture secretary, he’ll be in charge of around 100,000 employees and the nation’s food and farm programs, including agricultural subsidies, conservation efforts, rural development programs, food safety and nutrition programs such as food stamps and federally-subsidized school meal, Perdue will take office as farm prices have been down for several years in a row and some parts of the industry, including cotton and dairy farmers, say they need the department and Congress to rewrite agricultural policy to help revive their business.
Current farm policy expires next year, and lawmakers on the House and Senate agriculture committees will have to find a way to push it through Congress amid heightened partisan tensions and concerns over spending.
Perdue may also find himself in the uncomfortable position of defending agriculture in an administration that has so far given the issue limited attention, despite Mr. Trump’s strong support in rural areas.
At the hearing, Perdue said, “Food is a noble thing to trade.” Perdue will also be part of the administration’s response to a dispute with Canada’s dairy industry, which has a new lower-priced classification of milk product that Mr. Trump says is harming U.S. producers in dairy states like Wisconsin and New York.
Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, voted for Perdue and encouraged him to come to Wisconsin to talk to affected farmers.
That issue is expected to come up on Perdue’s first day in office Tuesday, when the president holds hold a round table discussion with farmers and sign an executive order “to provide relief for rural America,” according to the White House.

Montana Ag Summit brings agriculture’s heaviest hitters to Great Falls

Montana Ag Summit brings agriculture’s heaviest hitters to Great Falls

Montana Ag Summit brings agriculture’s heaviest hitters to Great Falls.
Perhaps the greatest benefit Montana farmers and ranchers took home with them from the Montana Ag Summit was the national attention it delivered and a greater awareness in Washington, D.C. of Montana’s importance to the U.S. farm economy. “We have two of the nation’s leaders; I would argue the nation’s top two influencers of ag policy with us here today,” said Montana Senator Steve Daines. “This is making a very deep impression on Sonny Perdue (U.S. Secretary of Agriculture) and Pat Roberts (Chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee).”
Perdue was confirmed as Ag Secretary by the U.S. Senate on April 24.
That’s changing because of other secretaries and its changing because of President Trump.
While there was widespread audience support for the rollback of burdensome government regulation, there was also deep concern about deep cuts proposed under the President’s budget to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The President’s budget proposes cutting $198 billion from the SNAP over the next 10 years.
He said that Montana ranchers can reasonably expect beef exports to China to rise substantially, both in the near term and down the road. “In the long term, China is the second largest beef import market in the world and growing rapidly,” he added.