New legislation will create the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity
By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
A new executive order signed by U.S. President Trump on April 25 is designed to bring rural America to the forefront.
The order, titled Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in America, says promoting American agriculture, protecting rural communities and reducing regulatory hurdles on farmers is a “national interest.”
The new legislation will also create the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity.
The Task Force will be chaired by the Secretary of Agriculture and will include various members of the Administration, such as the Secretary of Treasury, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Labor and Secretary of Commerce.
“Our farmers deserve a government that serves their interest and empowers them to do the hard work that they love to do so much,” President Trump said in a statement.
“And that’s what today’s executive order is all about. With this order, I’m directing (Agriculture Secretary Sonny) Perdue to work with other members of my Cabinet to identify and eliminate unnecessary regulations that hurt our nation’s farmers and rural communities.”
The Task Force’s duties include promoting the preservation of family farms; encouraging the production, export and use of domestic agricultural products; and expanding educational opportunities for students in rural communities.
The order sends a message to America’s farmers that their concerns are being heard and taken seriously, Secretary Perdue said.
“The people who are on the front lines of American agriculture don’t have the luxury of waiting to tend to their crops and livestock, so there was no better time to convene this meeting of the minds than on my first day,” Perdue said in a release.
“President Trump has made it clear that addressing the needs of rural America will be a top priority, and the message that we want to send to the agriculture community is that we are here, we are working hard and we are on (farmers’) side.”
The Task Force will report back to the President in about six months to recommend any necessary changes.
President Trump signed his new executive order during a Farmers Roundtable discussion at the White House.
The roundtable consisted of 14 members of America’s agricultural community, including Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Hank Choate from Cement City, Missouri and Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.
The group discussed trade, rural investment, labor issues and the Farm Bill.
Participants are confident the meeting informed the President and his staff of the issues facing American producers.
“Not only was President Trump receptive to our concerns, but he pledged action,” Duvall said in a release. “He even looked toward Secretary Perdue and said, ‘Let’s get these problems fixed.’
“Today, agriculture had not just one but many seats at the table to share with the president how access to international markets, farm labor shortages and burdensome regulations impact not only the day-to-day business of our farmers and ranchers, but also the millions of jobs agriculture supports.”
“The Farmers Roundtable provided the chance for the President to hear directly from the people on the front lines of American agriculture about what they are dealing with every day,” Secretary Perdue said in a statement.
“By hosting this discussion, the president has demonstrated his awareness of the plight of American farmers, ranchers, foresters,and producers, his intention to seek input, and his determination to help.”