Agriculture secretary comes to Kern County

Agriculture secretary comes to Kern CountyOn Wednesday, Aug. 15, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy hosted U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in Bakersfield, where the entourage met with three dozen local growers and dairies.

The meeting was an opportunity for industry representatives to share with Perdue the challenges they face from unfair trade practices by other countries, as well as opportunities to expand into new markets for California growers, said a spokesperson in McCarthy’s office.

“As congressman and majority leader, my responsibility is not only to have a seat at the table but to bring our community to that table as well,” said McCarthy.

“Today’s meeting was an opportunity for our growers to speak to and hear from Secretary Perdue directly on his agency’s priorities to ensure that our growers are able to operate in the most competitive regulatory and trade environment possible.

“The conversation was honest, open, and productive. I am pleased Secretary Perdue made our community a priority, and I will continue to work with him and the Trump administration to ensure that our region continues to lead in agriculture production.”

The 2018 Farm Bill, passed recently by the House, included several provisions that McCarthy said would benefit the local agricultural community.

Those provisions include:

•Increasing funding for the EQIP Air Quality Initiative to help farmers replace old equipment

•Maintaining Market Access Program funding to help farmers export products

• Protection of funding for specialty crop research, citrus greening research, and healthy plant/pest eradication programs

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy?(center)?meets with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, along with growers, dairy-owners and other leaders in Kern County. — Courtesy photo

Story First Published: 2018-08-17