FRANKENMUTH, Mich. – About 300 people attended a public town hall held by United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue at Michigan State University’s Saginaw Valley Research and Extension Center (SVREC) on Thursday, Sept. 26.
“We’re in the midst of a difficult time for agriculture,” Perdue said in his opening remarks. “There are a number of issues facing farmers, and it’s important that all of your voices are heard.”
The event was hosted by Michigan Farm Bureau and aimed at giving farmers, particularly in Michigan’s Thumb region, the opportunity to ask questions about the various challenges they face. The session was moderated by Michigan Farm Bureau President Carl Bednarski.
Perdue and Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, responded to guests. Topics included international trade, tariffs, biofuels, prevented planting, crop insurance, specialty crop protections and climate change, among others.
Prior to the town hall, Perdue toured an area sugar beet farm and spoke to sugar beet farmers.
This marks Perdue’s second trip to an MSU facility in the last 18 months. Perdue previously visited the East Lansing campus in April 2018 as part of his “Back to Our Roots” tour around the country.
“In addition to giving Michigan producers and Secretary Perdue the opportunity to connect, this visit gave him a chance to see what we’re doing with stakeholders in the Saginaw Valley area, a critical region for Michigan agriculture,” said Ron Hendrick, dean of the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “Michigan Farm Bureau has worked hard to ensure that Michigan farmer’s voices are heard nationally and around the world.”