USDA Secretary Perdue creates two new Undersecretary posts

May 17, 2017: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue on Thursday, May 11, 2017, announced the creation of two new senior-level posts at the department—an Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs and an Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation. Perdue has not yet appointed officials to these posts. Also on May 11, Perdue announced that the department’s Rural Development agencies would be elevated to report directly to the USDA Secretary “in recognition of the need to help promote rural prosperity,” according to a USDA press release.

“Food is a noble thing to trade. This nation has a great story to tell and we've got producers here that produce more than we can consume,” Perdue said in the press release. “And that’s good, because I’m a grow-it-and-sell-it kind of guy. Our people in American agriculture have shown they can grow it, and we’re here to sell it in markets all around the world.” “Agricultural trade is critical for the U.S. farm sector and the American economy as a whole. U.S. agricultural and food exports account for 20 percent of the value of production, and every dollar of these exports creates another $1.27 in business activity,” according to the USDA press release. “Additionally, every $1 billion in U.S. agricultural exports supports approximately 8,000 American jobs across the entire American economy. As the global marketplace becomes even more competitive every day, the United States must position itself in the best way possible to retain its standing as a world leader.”

Attribution: Agriculture Department

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