Apparently Trump is celebrating 100 days in office, or at least that’s all anyone in Washington D.C. can talk about these past few days. While I understand the importance of getting off to a productive start, I’m afraid the pundits along the Potomac have a very narrow focus on what constitutes success by the Trump administration.
Allow me to offer a different, perhaps, outside view of our new President, one that takes into consideration more than legislative victories.
This morning I had the extreme pleasure of hearing our new Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, speak to a crowd of farmers and ranchers. He was warm, humble, humorous, and put a smile on my face and hope back in my heart. After eight years of feeling like the USDA did not trust nor value the American farmer, I can say with 100-percent certainty that Perdue and the USDA will be a farmer-first organization devoted to supporting American farmers and ranchers and continuously looking for ways to bolster American agriculture and the farmers that feed the world.
His non-assuming style, southern twang and promise to follow the facts, listen to the farmers and push our president on trade and exports was just what the agriculture community – which is currently suffering from low commodity prices, high input costs and a changing global climate – needed to hear. This constituency waited nearly 95 days for a new secretary and is now eager to see what he can do to improve the farm bill and deliver regulatory relief.
But Perdue isn’t the only cabinet member that has rural America optimistic for a better tomorrow. Nearly six weeks ago, my husband and I had a unique opportunity to hear directly from EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt only minutes after he ordered the repeal of the WOTUS rule, which was illegally expanded and misused by the Obama administration. Never in my life did I believe the agriculture community would not only give an EPA administrator a standing ovation, but look forward to his time in office. Pruitt, who hails from farm country, has promised – and delivered – on efforts to roll back burdensome regulations and stop the flood of Obama proposals and rules that were set to go into effect this year. Second only to low grain and beef prices, regulations have a substantial and detrimental impact on farms and their bottom line.
Both Secretary Perdue and Pruitt were selected by President Trump and its these decisions and understanding of the type of leadership the USDA and EPA, respectively, needed to revive rural America and unbury industries from mountains of bureaucratic red tape that I give Trump an A. Most journalists and political analysts won’t consider these appointments in their assessment of Trump’s first 100 days, but for farmers like my husband and I these picks mean everything and provide a glimpse of hope and optimism in otherwise gloomy times.
I wish Perdue and Pruitt the best as they continue their work in Washington and look forward to reaping the rewards of their hard work and dedication to our great industry.