Perdue hits one-year mark at USDA as ethanol warrior

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue celebrated his first year in office by testifying at a Senate hearing on the rural economy on Tuesday, where he said he would defend the ethanol mandate. "We are very concerned about the waivers" that EPA has granted to some refiners from having to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard," said Perdue. "We believe that is adequate compensation for the RIN prices."

Perdue: Too many states abandoned ‘goal of self-sufficiency’ for SNAP

The Trump administration will hold states accountable "for transitioning able-bodied [SNAP] recipients permanently into the workforce," said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in an essay that underlined the White House call for new or tougher work requirements in federal welfare programs. "Too many states have abandoned this goal of self-sufficiency."

Perdue names new head of Foreign Agricultural Service

On Thursday, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue appointed Ken Isley to be administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service, which promotes U.S. farm exports, monitors food and agricultural issues worldwide, and has a role in U.S. food aid.

Perdue opens enrollment for ‘new and improved’ dairy insurance program

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Tuesday that enrollment is now open for the “new and improved” Dairy Margins Protection Program, a dairy insurance program run by USDA. The program has a poor reputation among many dairy farmers, who believe funds from an earlier iteration of the program were misallocated. No paywall

Forest Service chief resigns, Perdue names woman as interim leader

One of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s prominent appointees to USDA leadership, Tony Tooke, resigned on Wednesday as Forest Service chief amid allegations of sexual harassment. Perdue appointed Vicki Christiansen, a senior Forest Service official, as interim chief.

USDA executive Bill Northey to be sworn into office in Des Moines

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue plans to be at the Iowa Ag Leaders Dinner in Des Moines this evening to give the oath of office to Undersecretary Bill Northey, who will oversee the crop subsidy, crop insurance and land stewardship programs. He will be fifth Trump nominee to go to work at USDA out of 13 senior positions subject to presidential nomination and Senate confirmation. "I expect to see him on Wednesday," said Deputy Secretary Steve Censky during remarks at a school nutrition conference. Censky is in charge of day-to-day operation of the USDA.

Trump picks former EEOC chair as USDA civil rights chief

The chairwoman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission during the closing years of the George W Bush administration, Naomi Earp, is President Trump's choice for assistant secretary for civil rights at the USDA, announced the White House.

Ag outlook: Low prices, trade challenges in 2018, says Perdue

Many farmers will "face tight bottom lines, even negative returns in some cases," during 2018, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in describing the state of the rural economy as fragile. "We project continuing low commodity prices and trade challenges in the face of large global supplies and a relatively strong dollar in the coming year."

Perdue’s farm bill principles: Strong on crop insurance, link work with food assistance

The 2018 farm bill, while helping “those truly in need” to get enough food, should “support work as the pathway to self-sufficiency, well-being, and economic mobility,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.