The confirmation of Sonny Perdue as the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture has garnered praise and support from the cotton industry.
“Sonny Perdue is highly qualified to lead USDA and he can help ensure a strong and viable agricultural and rural economy,” said Ronnie Lee, chairman of the National Cotton Council. “His strong production and agribusiness background makes him keenly aware of U.S. agriculture’s critical importance in feeding and clothing this country and the world, powering this nation’s economy, and contributing to rural America’s well-being.
“The U.S. cotton industry also believes that someone from this country’s second largest cotton-producing state well recognizes what is necessary to stabilize the U.S. cotton industry,” stated Lee, a Bronwood, GA, cotton producer. “We are excited and stand ready to partner with Secretary Perdue with a goal of getting programs and policies in place that will ensure our industry continues to contribute to the American economy.”
Regarding those contributions, Lee noted that farms and businesses directly involved in the production, distribution and processing of U.S. cotton employ more than 125,000 workers and produce direct business revenue of more than $21 billion. Accounting for the ripple effect through the broader U.S. economy, total economic activity attributed to cotton is in excess of $95 billion.
Plains Cotton Growers also applauded the confirmation. PCG President Johnie Reed, a cotton producer from Kress, TX, said, “We congratulate Secretary Perdue, and we know that he will hit the ground running, as he has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing agriculture and the cotton industry in particular. Secretary Perdue is a strong and effective leader and advocate, and will serve agriculture well.
“We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to work with him and his team at the USDA to help ensure that our growers have the stability they need to continue producing the quality cotton fiber and oilseed that the world has come to expect.”
Sources – National Cotton Council, Plains Cotton Growers