Perdue hosts inaugural Agriculture & Rural Prosperity task force meetingPerdue hosts inaugural Agriculture & Rural Prosperity task force meeting
Task force required to issue report with recommendations for legislative and administrative actions within 180 days.
June 15, 2017
In April, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture & Rural Prosperity “to ensure the informed exercise of federal authority that impacts agriculture and rural communities.” On Thursday, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue hosted the inaugural meeting, setting the stage for the work the task force plans to do.
Perdue serves as chairman of the task force and was joined by Secretary of Housing & Urban Development Ben Carson, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, director of the White House Office of Management & Budget Mick Mulvaney, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai and other government officials.
“What we began here today is to lay a fertile seed bed in rural America where good things can grow,” Perdue said in a statement following the meeting. “Rural America has been struggling under burdensome regulations, but the leaders we gathered today are willing to work together to turn that around.”
Perdue added that by establishing this task force, Trump showed his commitment to prioritizing the prosperity of the farmers and ranchers of America's heartland as well as all citizens living in rural communities across the country. “Guided by the President at the helm, and with secretaries Carson and Perry, director Mulvaney, trade representative Lighthizer and so many others, we are telling rural America that we’re here, we’re listening and we’re going to help provide you with the resources, tools and support to build robust, sustainable communities for generations to come,” Perdue added.
The purpose of this inaugural meeting was to set the stage for work the task force must do to identify legislative, regulatory and interagency policy changes and actions that promote agriculture and economic development and quality of life in rural America. The task force vision statement is to provide rural America with the world-class resources, tools and support to build robust, sustainable communities for generations to come.
The task force is required to issue a report with recommendations for legislative or administrative actions within 180 days.
The task force will examine and consider, among other issues, current barriers to economic prosperity in rural America and how innovation, infrastructure and technology may play a role in long-term, sustainable rural prosperity. The panel will strengthen federalism by working with state agencies charged with implementing economic, community and global market development, including agricultural programs, while also emphasizing regulatory flexibility for farms and small businesses.
With a dependence on sound science, task force members planned to examine technology used by farmers, including bioengineering and crop protection tools, and also address concerns regarding workforce needs for agricultural jobs.
Additionally, the group plans to focus on policies that allow family farms to remain intact, including information connectivity and tax reform, while also protecting against federal takeover of state-adjudicated water rights, permitting and licensing and other requirements beyond what is provided in law.
Finally, members will look to improve food safety and the implementation of food safety laws while also recognizing the unique nature of farming and the diverse structures of rural businesses.
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