Indiana Ag Hopes Trump's Pick For USDA Chief Will Preserve Trade

Jan 20, 2017

Indiana’s $11 billion farming sector is hoping to benefit under President Donald Trump.

The new commander-in-chief has threatened some trade deals that agriculture relies on. But many in the industry hope his nominee to lead the Department of Agriculture will have a different take.

Sonny Perdue is a former Georgia governor and commercial farming veteran. His home state is known for cotton, peanuts and livestock, not corn and soybeans.

But Jane Ade Stevens, Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Soybean Alliance CEO, says Perdue still has a background in cash crops.

She hopes it means he would emphasize crop insurance, conservation and other farm commodity programs as secretary of agriculture, and that he would advocate for global trade, which Trump has railed against.

Stevens says Perdue should know the farm sector needs to export products, for the good of the economy.

“People tend to think that’s just going to impact farmers,” Stevens says of potential reductions in agricultural trade “They’re going to have a real sad awakening if we lose our trade opportunities. That’s what keeps us great.”

Since leaving Georgia’s state house, Sonny Perdue also ran a consulting firm focused on exports.

As of Inauguration Day, Perdue’s Senate confirmation hearing hadn’t been set.