USDA holds its first Rural Task Force meeting

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says the goal of the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity is put a plan in place that benefits Rural America.  “Our goal is not to provide a report,” he says.  “But an operational plan to execute.”

During its inaugural meeting, Perdue told the group Rural America has been struggling under burdensome regulations.  “We can help to create a fertile bed for their prosperity by making sure that we look our regulations – whether they are helpful or hurtful,” he says.  “In no way are we looking to wipe the slate clean regarding environmental regulations or food safety regulations.”

The task force is focused on streamlining interagency cooperation to improve quality of life for those living in rural America and involved in agriculture.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says his purpose on the task force is to help generate income by increasing US ag exports.  “Approximately 20 percent of farm income comes from exports,” he says.  “That’s huge.  And for every dollar of exports is an additional $1.25 in economic activity in the rural communities.”

The task force is required to issue a report with recommendations for legislative or administrative actions within 180 days.

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