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Perdue Shakes Up USDA Structure with New Emphasis on Trade, Production, Rural Development

(Bill Tomson – Agri-Pulse)

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced today a long-awaited plan to reorganize the USDA and its seven mission areas that are staffed with nearly 100,000 employees in thousands of offices across the country and the world.

At the heart of the plan is the creation of a new under secretary position that is focused solely on trade, but Perdue is also putting forward a controversial proposal to do away with the subcabinet position for Rural Development.

Perdue has said repeatedly he supports the creation of a new under secretary position for trade, and today he made that official, splitting up the Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service that houses the Foreign Agriculture Service, the Farm Service Agency and the Risk Management Agency.

“Our plan to establish an undersecretary for trade fits right in line with my goal to be American agriculture’s unapologetic advocate and chief salesman around the world,” Perdue said in the release. “By working side by side with our U.S. Trade Representative and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, the USDA Under Secretary for Trade will ensure that American producers are well equipped to sell their products and feed the world.” Click here to read more.

Related: Secretary Perdue Announces Creation of Undersecretary for Trade and USDA Reorganization (USDA)