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.

Perdue to release farm bill principles in Pennsylvania

Two weeks after saying he would release guidelines for the 2018 farm bill "very soon," Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is expected to unveil farm bill principles while visiting Pennsylvania on Wednesday. Perdue had told American Farm Bureau Federation earlier this month to expect the outline shortly. President Trump told the group, "I support a bill that includes crop insurance," a change in tone from White House proposals last year for large cuts.

Trump selects a congressional lobbyist for a USDA short of executives

Nearly a year after taking office, President Trump tabbed farm group official Ken Barbic to be USDA's congressional liaison, rewarding Western growers who backed his campaign. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said he was "very excited by the nomination" while noting that two nominees for top-tier posts at USDA are bottled up in the Senate.