NMPF Statement on Senate Confirmation of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue
From Jim Mulhern, President and CEO, NMPF
ARLINGTON, VA – “We congratulate Secretary Sonny Perdue on his confirmation by the Senate today, and we’re eager to work with him on the challenges facing the nation’s dairy farmers – issues he’s already indicated he will tackle at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
“Secretary Perdue knows that dairy farmers depend on export markets around the world and closer to home, which is why it is important for USDA to insist on preserving market access to key customers in Mexico, and demand that Canada plays by the international trade rules to which it has already agreed.
“We also need Secretary Perdue’s support to help develop new dairy export markets in Japan and elsewhere. As one of every seven tankers of milk we produce is exported, agricultural trade policy plays a central role in boosting the health of the rural economy.
“Secretary Perdue has expressed support for improving the dairy Margin Protection Program so that it can serve as the effective safety net it was intended to be. NMPF looks forward to working with Secretary Perdue and his staff at USDA to improve the tools available to dairy farmers to help manage the economic and natural risks they face.
“We also commend Secretary Perdue on his support – reiterated during his Senate Agriculture Committee hearing – for relieving the obstacles dairy producers deal with when looking to hire workers for year-round labor.
“Secretary Perdue is highly qualified to run USDA, having grown up on a farm, been trained as a veterinarian, enjoyed success as a small businessman, and serving as Georgia governor for eight years. We look forward to working together to create new opportunities to better the lives of dairy farmers and others living in rural America.”
The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s 30 cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. Visit www.nmpf.org for more information.