In the News: McMorris Rodgers Hosts Sec. Purdue in Eastern Washington

On the heels of the House’s passage of the historic 2018 Farm Bill, House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) hosted U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in Eastern Washington to provide him with a closer look at what the farm bill means to rural communities across America.  Here are the latest headlines:

The Daily Evergreen | US Secretary of Agriculture tours WSU

When asked about the passing of the U.S. farm bill, Perdue said he was hopeful the bill would be passed by Sept. 30, when the current farm bill expires. …

One of the other main issues Perdue spoke with the media about during his stop in Pullman dealt with worries from Washington farmers over the possibility of crop insurance being stripped from the farm bill.

Perdue said Rodgers would not let the protections be absent from the bill.

“Those people who are worried about crop insurance being cut from the farm bill don’t know this lady to my right, Cathy McMorris Rodgers,” he said. “She’s not going to let it happen.”

Rodgers said she appreciated Perdue’s willingness to meet after he took office and thanked him for visiting the area she represents.

“I’m so appreciative the secretary made the trip to Eastern Washington,” Rodgers said.

The Lewiston Tribune | Perdue reassures farmers and ranchers

President Donald Trump won’t leave American farmers holding the bag.

That was the message from U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Monday during a lunch meeting with nearly 100 area farmers and ranchers at the McGregor Co. headquarters near Colfax.

“The president told me, ‘You assure American farmers that we’re not going to let them bear the brunt of these trade disruptions,’ ” said Perdue, who was invited to the area by Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who joined him at the meeting. … McMorris Rodgers asked Perdue to share the administration’s perspective on the trade dispute, saying it has farmers quite nervous.

“It’s making farmers nervous?” Perdue replied. “It makes me nervous. Overall, 20 cents out of every dollar in farm revenue comes from exports. When our entire production system is based on feeding the world, any disruption in trade raises concerns.”

However, he said the president’s ultimate goal is to create a more level playing field for American producers by discouraging unfair trade practices.

“He says to me, ‘You tell them we’re going to make things better,’ ” Perdue said. “He really believes in American workers and American innovators.”

Moscow Pullman Daily News | Secretary of Agriculture visits the Palouse

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue visited the University of Idaho and Washington State University campuses Monday to meet with researchers and local politicians to discuss the state of Northwest agriculture in the face of worsening trade tensions and an expected battle over a new farm bill.

Perdue joined U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Washington, for a tour of WSU agricultural facilities before heading over to the on-campus creamery to sample locally produced cheeses, ice cream and the WSU-bred Cosmic Crisp apple.

During the visit, McMorris Rodgers touted the importance of passing an updated farm bill before the current one expires Sept. 30. The legislation is renewed every five years and covers a wide range of agricultural, conservation and nutrition programs – including federal subsidies for farmers. …

In the face of international trade tensions, McMorris Rodgers said it’s more important than ever to provide stability for agriculture and market access to rural farmers.

“(Perdue) understands that it takes years – decades – to develop those relationships and that we don’t want to lose them, so he’s watching this very closely,” McMorris Rodgers said.

The Spokesman Review | Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue endorses work requirements for food assistance

Congress is preparing to reconcile two versions of the farm bill, a sweeping piece of legislation renewed every five years that governs an array of agricultural and food assistance programs, including SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. …

“The House felt very strongly – frankly, as I do – that there should be some work requirements associated with the generosity and the compassion of the American taxpayer,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in an interview Monday during a visit to Spokane. “If people enjoy the benefits of having food for their family … they should expect that someone that’s taking advantage of that, or utilizing that during down times, are trying to better themselves to a more independent lifestyle.”

In a statement, McMorris Rodgers called the farm bill and the work requirements “an historic effort to empower more people to build a foundation for a better life.”

KLEW | US Secretary of Agriculture Visits Palouse

United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on the Palouse Monday at the invitation of Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers to get a first-hand look at state of agriculture here in eastern Washington.

“Obviously with the trade concerns the amount of dependency on wheat depends on the exports and this whole area depends on exports and she wanted me to come see firsthand and talk to producers,” said the Secretary.

Washington State University researchers showed Secretary Perdue how they study wheat including drought resistance.

An example of the integration of USDA Agricultural Research Service with land grant universities.

“And that’s the way to get things done collaboration and the good things is I’ve’ also learned about the collaboration with private sector here the wheat commission,” said the Secretary.

This is an important time as the re-authorization of the Farm Bill stands before Congress.

“The house has taken action the senate has taken action part of my priority has been crop insurance and research, research that takes place at places like Washington State University that’s so important to the future of agriculture,” said Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

At the WSU plant facilities, the Secretary viewed new technology to help develop drought resistant wheat and synthetic wheat that the USDA helped fund.

They even made time to try some of Washington State’s own creations the Cosmic Crisp Apple and Ferdinand’s ice-cream.

The secretary was also in Spokane Monday morning for a fireside chat with Agriculture and Forestry Leaders.

And in Colfax to speak with Southern Washington Producers at the McGregor company.